Edamame Economics

So I’m starting to reap the fruits of my garden. Ok, mostly the vegetables of my garden, as I didn’t plant any fruits other than tomatoes, which can legally be classified as a vegetable. In any event, the harvest is here. I’m planting a few late season lettuces and carrots, but most everything is finished.

One of the arguments for starting a garden is quality produce at low cost. How does this actually play out?

I planted carrots, lettuce, edamame, leeks, green beans, green onions, tomatoes, and peppers. We had a ridiculously cold summer, and everything was in a raised bed. Not counting the beds, which were a capital investment, of course, I spent about $30 on the seeds and plants for the veggies. I haven’t properly accounted for the watering, but we used a soaker hose, and didn’t run it more than we would have normally.

The harvest thus far:

We got lettuce every week for about 2 months. So, given that we would have bought 1-2 heads a week, and since this is organic produce, we’ll say that was about $22 worth of lettuce we didn’t buy. We got one meals worth of peas, plus enough for about 4 jars of baby food. The eating peas were about $1.00 worth, and the baby food was about $3.50. The same with the green beans, although we got 2 meals worth of those, and twice as much baby food, so we’ll call that $10 for the green beans. The edamame I just harvested, and it was 20 oz, which would run me about $5 from Amazon Fresh. The peppers didn’t fruit, although the plants grew, and I’m not sure what happened to the leeks or the green onions — I don’t see them at all. The tomatoes were my favorite thus far, and yielded 6 jars of tomato sauce, at around $2.50 per jar, plus 2 tomato sandwiches that are otherwise priceless, since I can’t make them with the tomatoes in the store. So call that $20 worth for the tomatoes. The carrots I just pulled, but there looks to be about 3 pounds, so that’s 2 meals and about 20 jars of baby food. Call that $25 in carrots

So to this point, the $30 investment has yielded $86.50 in produce. Not a bad return, if I do say so myself. Next season I can start more from seed, and double the number of plants that I have in the best producers, and manage to harvest things before the dry up, since I won’t be busy having a baby at the same time. 🙂  I would point out that none of that accounts for my time, which is worth a bit, but that should be balanced out by the utility I get from both the actual gardening, plus knowing exactly where the first foods I feed my new baby are coming from. So, I say it’s a winner!

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