Seeds of Change tacked on over $26.00 in shipping charges alone. Because many of their seeds are not available locally, I had no choice but to order them; plus Seeds of Change does important work in preserving our heirloom seeds, and our food supply, and I feel it's important to support the company. Here's my latest order:
1 BULK, LETTUCE, NEW RED FIRE - 1,000 SEEDS: 4.05
1 PACK, SQUASH, LADY GODIVA: 3.29
1 PACK, CALENDULA, RED SPLASH 2.59
1 PACK, CARROT, SCARLET NANTES 2.79
1 PACK, BROCCOLI, EARLY GREEN 2.59
1 PACK, CUCUMBER, SMART PICKLE 2.79
1 PACK, CUCUMBER, SWEET MARKETMORE 2.79
1 PACK, LETTUCE, SUCRINE 2.59
1 PACK, LETTUCE, LOOSELEAF, SIMPSON BLACK-SEEDED 2.59
1 PACK, SPINACH, AMERICA 2.59
1 PACK, SUMMER SQUASH, BLACK BEAUTY ZUCCHINI 2.59
1 PACK, PUMPKIN, HOWDEN 2.79
1 PACK, TOMATO, CHERRY, CHADWICK 2.59
1 PACK, TOMATO, PASTE, SAN MARZANO 2.59
1 PACK, CORN, SWEET, TRUE GOLD 2.79
Total $: 43.81
2 PACK, BEAN, SOYBEAN, EDAMAME SAYAMUSUME 5.58
Total $: 18.54
Total Product $: 47.59
Net Product$: 47.59
Sales Tax: 0.00
Grand Total: 74.44
In addition, I have bought seeds packets at my grocery store:
Bush Sugar Baby Watermelon: $2.85
Watermelon Congo: (Just in case the sugar babies fall through) $2.85
Mesclun, Green party mix: $2.19
Radish Seeds: $2.30
Carrot Seeds: $2.50
Free seeds, from last year include Jack and the Beanstalk, Beefsteak Tomatoes, pumpkins, green beans and more Nasturtiums.
So far, the total for seeds is: $$92.40
This is a one-time investment, as next year, the compost I've made will eliminate the need to purchase good quality top soil: Total price $75.00
A luxury, yes, but there will be weeks when I will be hundreds of miles away from the garden, so it must remain low-maintenance: $50.00 The label gives it a 10-year guarantee, so I expect to re-use the garden.
This brings my total so far to: $217.40. This figure does not include the stakes used to tie the beans for the fort, fertilizer, and chicken wire and Irish Spring soap that will be used later to deter pests and deer. Most of those items are already in the gargage left over from last year.
Next year, my costs will be lower, as in addition to the soil, many of the seeds bought this year will have left over seeds that I can store in the freezer and re-use next year.
At this point, who knows what the yield will be, but if we look at last year's results from the Get Rich Slowly blog, they showed a $600 profit from crop yield, against a $300 investment in the garden. I can only hope for similar results, and I'll try to count the produce as it leaves the garden, and compare that to the prices at the store. Of course, there are the year-round benefits, as we are still eating the green beans in the freezer harvested from last year's garden.
Still, who's to say what plant will actually make it? Farmers know well that the wrong weather conditions can destroy a crop. Last year's garden only produced two tomatoes for all of my efforts. Chipmunks were the main reason, as well as cool temperatures. This year, I'm moving the tomatoes to a hotter spot, and more chicken wire for the chipmunks.
I've managed to siphon down the work of garden so that the yucky stuff is gone: weed barriers have made weeding nonexistent, and newspapers eliminate the need to dig. But more important than the labor and the cost savings is the taste and convenience. Fresh snow peas, a salad waiting for you outside your door, and, hopefully, a fresh grown tomato, feeds the senses like nothing else.