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Member since 02 Nov 2006
Member from Linwood
Is it really cheaper to grow ones own veges, given the cost of getting started with compost, plants or seeds, pest killers and fertilsers Could a home garden keep a family of four fed for nine months, given the time and cost to bring the stuff to the table, which usually occurs when the markets are at their cheapest. How much ground would be needed. Here is a new topic to chew the fat over.
Member since 31 May 2007
Member from Palmerston North
It probably depends on the gardener, Joybel, and their keenness and level of experience. If we all had to depend on our own garden completely, some of us could be starving in no time!
It needn't be that expensive once you are using your own compost instead of buying it, collecting your own seeds and growing things from cuttings. But that takes time, and certainly quite a bit of effort at the start.
I like the idea of community gardens (as long as they can be made secure) where everyone can learn & share together.
I guess a lot of people, like us, grow easy basics like runner beans, parsley, chives, onions and basil, tomatoes and so on, and fill in the rest
with cheap, fresh veges from the weekly market.
Member since 02 Jun 2007
Member from Mangere Bridge
The saving is huge but the big benefit is taste.
How much land? Depends what you want to grow, on average we spend most on potatoes and tomatoes, potatoes need a fair bit of room, tomatoes very little, the main cost is a bit of sweat, compost you make yourself, seeds you save from the year before. Things like runner beans, tomatoes, rhubarb you can pick over a long period, freeze surplus.
Often I have read that a vege garden would help those on low wages and solos etc. However, many have never seen anything but grass growing, a vege garden requires daily nurturing and most of us come from parents for whom having a vege garden was a way of life. Many older homes have had the backyards sold off and built on. Planting out nine cabbages and having them come ready to eat at once means finding somebody to take them off ones hand. Getting the home vege garden up and running is a no go when the postage stamp section can hardly support a clothesline. State houses are on good sized sections, but how many bother to grow veges. Could this generation be the last home vege gardeners?
Member since 11 Oct 2006
Member from Wainuiomata
Once I had a garden. It was only three metres square. The soil was richer than my bank account of which I did despair.
I firmly believe tending a garden is a form of therapy. The rich sensual smell of the earth's aroma often awakenes a sense of natural wonder.
Some people do not like silverbeet but it can grow faster than the weeds.
My father born 1901 used to tell me that during the depression; growing a vegatable garden was a requesite before applying for a benifit.
A friend wrote to me once after I had described a yellow tulip growing in the middle of a rail line.
" Each flower has a role to play. "
Through the eyes of another, a lone flower I have seen where no other did survive.
It stood for joy to mean.
Un-picked he left it to shine on others eyes, for those to see what is to see that of day's surprise.
Had he gone and picked it this bloom could not be shared and then as other flowers are picked the pickers have not cared.
I like to see all flowers sway and never pick a one. Each flower has it's role to play as this lone bloom has done.
This time next year we may be all digging up the back yard.
Most NZ homes have room to grow at least some of their own vegetables, I always have a tomato plant in a hanging basket at the back door, handy to make a sandwich and produces all summer.
Member since 02 Feb 2007
Member from Mangere Central
My unit is on a tiny section,so that puts paid to a veggie garden.So buying is the only way for me to go.Two spuds,1 leaf of Silverbeet,1 carrort and 1/2 punkin,and thats my quota for the week.Me budgie eats more greens than me.But one of my neighbors is using tires and the old recycled bins for his veggies.As Lemin says,a tomato plant takes up no room at all.
Member since 19 Dec 2006
Member from Hampden
JoyBell, yes a vege garden is really worth the time. The benifits are huge and not just financial and taste. The main benifit is actually good pure food for your body that has not been stuffed up by chemicals and poisons.
As for just the nime months garden you mentioned, you can actually have good home grown food all year round. It takes a bit of planning and work but I have eaten out of my garden right through the winter and that is in a garden way south of you too.
Who took this special way of life off the menu for our younger generations. I like the allotment system as Jack and his cronies in Coronation Street had. There are folk with large back sections who allow a person to grow veges in it for a share of the produce.
My vege garden is minicule and to date I have 6 lettuces with leaves like pale green spinach which can be picked as required, I tomato and 4 parsley plants. Four because that was the way they were sold. Not forgetting my Aloe vera and my sage and my Thyme carpet. With a few cans of salmon in the cupboard I'll be fine.
I heard a Japanese agricultural scientist interviewed on radio once and he claimed it is possible to feed a person on one square metre of good soil, but I didn't realy believe him though, but made me wonder just how little land it would take.
Joybell, your herbs are a great way of adding health giving flavour to your food and they can be grown in posts.
Member since 28 May 2008
Member from Wrights Bush
I am fairly traditional and try and grow veges mainly for as Jack says for the taste and lack of chemicals.
However the weather patterns now are discouraging. A warm then cold spring caused veges to stop growing then burst ahead. Last year was a drought and as we are on bore water had to be careful of use. The pumpkins finally got away with fruit starting to bulge then wham hit by an unexpected frost early in March. Finished off the tomatoes even in a plastic house.
Last week, strong westerlies battered some tomatoes I placed near the back door, then hail, followed by snow, rain flooded the back section, so glad I didn't have my potatoes in as that happened last year, rotted in the ground. Then a frost killing off the young cucumbers even in the hot house, and its November!!
I keep trying with the hardy things like rhubarb, silverbeet, and herbs, have blackcurrents, gooseberries, and an apple tree. So am holding off hoping the weather settles down, but then thay get hit at the other end of the season.
In the meantime there is always in the freezer, runner beans, broad beans, peas, and mixed veges. Tinned asparagus, and tomatoes are cheap now, and buy fresh pumpkin carrots, onions, cauli, cabbage and the odd leek. Only buy small quantities now as it doesn't last like it used to.
" Enuff to put you off gardening for life, gaye-belle. I was clever enough to cover my one tomato when Jim said to expect a frost. My grandson didn't cover his and lost six. Meanwhile the aphis are in abundance and as fast as one lot are dispatched they work overnight to fill up the vacant spaces. Mixed blessings seem to come with gardening.
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