I’m sorry I don’t know where I got this chart from because I’d like to go back and read the article it accompanied.
It is true that you can save a lot of money by growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. But it strikes me that the information here is presented by someone who hasn’t a clue.
Let’s look first at the information in the caption. The caveat that “you’ll need to buy supplies like gardening tools and mulch” is true enough but certainly an understatement, especially when you factor in the supplies you’ll need to “preserve extra produce for the cold season.” I’ve always contended that you don’t need nearly as many gardening tools as garden tool producers would have you believe. This doesn’t keep me from buying them– but all you really need is a shovel, a hand trowel, and a water hose. I see, too, that the cost of water hasn’t been factored into the equation. Depending on where you live, and what sorts are available, mulch can get rather pricey– and if you don’t have a truck to haul it in… .
You will not be getting much mulch into a Tata Nano. And no, I will not let you borrow my truck.
Back to the preservation issue– this ain’t cheap. A typical freezer in a typical refrigerator isn’t going to hold much frozen produce if it’s also holding the typical contents of a freezer. Even if you have a second freezer, you’ll still need to buy freezer bags, or a food saver system. Canning is an option, but most veggies cannot be water bathed, they need to be pressure cooked– and canning veggies is the least desirable means of preserving veggies for later use. The herbs of course can be dried, and so can the tomatoes. But you’d need a dehydrator to be efficient, and there’s only so much you can do with dried tomatoes
Moving on– who in their right mind pays $3.75 for a packet of pepper seeds? The most expensive I’ve found are just over $2– and they are both heirloom and organic. Rosemary seeds? Are you kidding me? And $3.75 for beans? No wonder I don’t use Burpee seed.
There’s a deeper problem with this list of seeds, though. It shows that the person who wrote this knows next to nothing about vegetable gardening. Of the six seeds listed, one-half need to be started indoors. In most parts of the United States of America, you cannot just plunk a tomato, pepper or rosemary seed in a hole in the ground and watch it grow. Starting seeds inside is easy, but there’s some added expense that goes along with it.
I can’t speak to the information in the second column– I don’t do produce shopping (that’s Mr. Big Food’s department). But I can ask a couple of questions. Are tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini all really $0.89 each? Is that 12 ounce package of fresh green beans or frozen? If frozen, then apples meet oranges. No frozen bean resembles a fresh bean.
Onto the third column, which assumes a 12 week summer. It also assumes that you could harvest these six for 12 weeks. Again, depending on where you live, you may be able to space out your green bean plantings such that you would have 12 weeks of green beans– and Lord knows beans are so prolific you could easily have preserved enough beans for 12 weeks– but the beans I know produce for about three weeks. The problem with spacing plantings out over time if you live in a climate that would allow four separate plantings is that it’s too dang hot for the seeds to germinate by the time it was time to plant the third planting.
The larger problem with this chart is that it sets folks up for failure.
Have a garden but for goodness sake, get your advise from someone who knows what she’s talking about.