gumbo2176
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Re: Anyone else keep financial track of how much you grow?

Like most that have replied, I've never tried to assess a price on what I grow as opposed to what I spend in the garden. I do know that some of the things I grow save me a ton of money in the quantities I get out of my garden.

This past summer okra and cucumbers alone made the effort worthwhile for me in the amount I put up pickled in jars and stewed okra in the freezer for later use, plus the goodwill of sharing with friends and family. I live in an area where okra is very heavily used and even during peak growing season I'd see it in the market for over $3 a lb. and I was picking 10+ lbs. of it a week. Cucumbers were priced at 2 for $1 at their lowest and generally in the $.85 - $1 each range and I must have picked hundreds of cucumbers between pickling and slicing varieties.

Of course, my garden is now over 20 years in the making and the initial costs of buying tools, equipment and material for trellises and such are long behind me, so that cost does come into effect with new gardeners.

imafan26
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Re: Anyone else keep financial track of how much you grow?

Sometimes it is hard to put a price on intangibles. I harvested corn about 20 ears (I only had 39 plants and the storms knocked a few down). At my prices 75 cents each, it would have been about $15 and it took half my garden space, so opportunity cost. But, the corn I grew was sweeter than what is sold in the market and there is the satisfaction of growing it.

Chayote sells for $1.69 a pound and I can't use it all. It takes no effort to grow it since it lives on rain and neglect

Meyer lemons and Bearrs lime they sell for almost a dollar for the lemons and three for a dollar for the limes. The Meyer will fruit 2-3 times a year and the Bearrs, I get from my moms house (I raid her tree, so does her neighbor). I get over 50 lemons from a 3 foot tree, hundreds of calamondin ( retails for $1.69 a pound), and over 50 limes from my mothers tree. I'm guessing if I had to buy all of that it might come close to $100

Hot peppers sell for $7-$12 a pound. I probably harvest about $30 worth, the rest the birds get. Jalapeno's are cheap at $3 a pound but they aren't very hot so I don't grow as much. They are heavier so maybe $5-$6 retail
Herbs at $3 a bunch, I save a lot. I use bay leaf, curry leaf, lemon grass, green onions, chives, thyme, basil, cilantro, Italian parsley, cutting celery, cholesterol spinach, Jamaican oregano, marjorram, culantro, ginger, turmeric, and roselle. I probably save about $75 a year on that.
Vegetables I do grow but, since I don't time them well and most are highly perishable, I probably am running negative. I cannot eat all of the lettuce or Chinese cabbage I grow. I do give away daikon, eggplant, peppers, and eat most of the beets, spinach and araimo. I do save about $30 a month because when I don't have vegetables or herbs, I have to buy them.

I can't say I come out ahead pocket wise since this year I spent
$139 on mail order seeds and about another $30 for other seeds locally.
Water costs - $100 a month.
Slug bait $58 for 20 lbs. I have probably spent over $100 this year alone on slug control
Replacement tools (broken or lost) $200
Fertilizer and pest control- $200-$300 over the course of the year
Compost / Peat moss/ Perlite/Cinders - Peat moss $18-$24 per 3.8 cu ft, Compost $14-$16 per 2-3 cu ft, MG potting soil $17 per 2 cubic ft, Cinder $5.50 3/4 cu ft. Perlite $32 for 4 cu ft bag.

Like most people I am probably working for less than the minimum wage in the garden, but if you are doing something you enjoy doing, it really isn't work, even if it really hurts at the end of the day (Masseuse $75 an hour).

In the long run I probably don't save a lot of money growing my own food since the costs are also very high. I can spend almost $200 a month on garden related things like seeds, fertilizer, amendments and sprinkler parts and I know I don't spend that much on produce ( I buy bananas, onions, garlic, and other fruits). I probably do save $100 a month on produce I grow that I don't have to buy like the citrus, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, chard cucumbers, and herbs which I use a lot. I don't save as much on things I grow too much of like beans, lettuce, Kai choy cabbage or things that are perishible; have a short window to harvest and do not cut and come again and have to be replanted often like spinach, greens and beets. These things I still haven't figured out the optimal amount or remember to plant on time for succession. It has an opportunity cost as well since unlike James, I don't have a lot of land so anything ends up compost is a lost opportunity to grow something else.

Still what I grow tastes so much better than what is in the market that it is worth it. Except for some of the tomatoes I tried, some are great but others are just so-so. I can never really get a cucumber, pepper, bean, snowpea, or herb as good or crisp as the ones I grow myself.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Gary350
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Re: Anyone else keep financial track of how much you grow?

I did the math this morning. I spent $28 for plants, seeds, fertilizer, gas for the tiller.

I grew about $600 worth of, tomatoes, corn, squash, peppers, melons, garlic, onions, potatoes. Prices were compared to grocery store prices because they are cheaper. Corn is $5 a dozen at farmers market and 4 ears for $1 at the grocery store.

We have eaten all the garlic, onions, potatoes, melons.

We have 117 jars of tomatoes in the pantry. 300 ears of corn and 30 bags if bean, several bags of squash in freezer.

I am still getting 2 to 5 tomatoes per week, peas, peppers, kale.

I harvest my own seeds it saves money.

Labor, I have about 16 hours work in my 25'x50' low maintenance garden all summer.

The year is not over I still have sweet potatoes to dig.

Swiss chard, lettuce, broccoli, beets, garlic, onions, celery, Napa cabbage, are coming up.

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digitS'
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Re: Anyone else keep financial track of how much you grow?

Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:41 pm
digitS' wrote:I don't have 2015 numbers to share, haven't done my taxes, yet! ... When that market was first starting out ... I thought it had been a darn good year for an olde guy with about a half acre and a 5hp rototiller. (We have never done better since.) I told him that we had grossed about $15,000. He asked, "And, how much of that did you take home?" Me, "About half of it ..."
We made several thousand $ in 2015 produce sales and had just over 50% of that $ amount in expenses to deduct from gross income.

Accounting for labor would have pared it down below minimum wage level but produce for our own consumption was FREE!!!

Okay, food wasn't free but its value should have pushed income above minimum if it had been counted, I'm sure. Pretty sure. I think so, anyway ...

;) Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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jal_ut
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Re: Anyone else keep financial track of how much you grow?

Corn, beans, squash and potatoes. What I call the big four. Plant plenty. Then fill in with onions, carrots, radish, turnip, lettuce, cabbage. Have fun!

Well its November, nothing growing here for the next four months. Guess play on the internet and look at seed catalogs?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: Anyone else keep financial track of how much you grow?

I sell at a local farmer's market. The sales are all cash money, so silly ol me, I never report sales to the gov't. No way they can prove there was any sales. I never enter anything about sales into any book nor paper. I have no clue what the totals are. Suffice it to say, it pays for the seed!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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kayjay
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Re: Anyone else keep financial track of how much you grow?

Meatburner wrote:My motivation is not financial but all about growing healthy food for my family.

To me, these are one and the same. If I was rich or I had a huge property to work with, I wouldn't care. But I live in the suburbs, I work at a donut shop, and my growing space is the size of a closet. That's why I want to maximize the output from my tiny space, and assessing it financially compared to what my grocery stores have to offer makes sense for me.
KayJay
Toronto 'burbs, zone 5b

My Garden, 2020

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Gary350
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Re: Anyone else keep financial track of how much you grow?

jal_ut wrote:I sell at a local farmer's market. The sales are all cash money, so silly ol me, I never report sales to the gov't. No way they can prove there was any sales. I never enter anything about sales into any book nor paper. I have no clue what the totals are. Suffice it to say, it pays for the seed!
Your income needs to be over $9800 before you have to report it. If your income is $10,000. you only pay tax of $200. If you report it like a true business you can deduct all expenses including gas to drive your vehicle to the farmers market, farmers market fees, % of vehicle insurance, vehicle deprecation, drive to Walmart to buy seeds is a deduction too, deprecate your land used for the garden, a % of your house can be deducted to. Get a good tax agent to do your taxes NOT H & R BLOCK. Get an Enrolled Agent. IRS requires you report anything over $10 for interest income that still falls in the $9800. rule if interest income is less you pay no tax. I don't do my own taxes, I don't even try, my tax lady gets me deductions I can't do myself, she only charged me $100 last year. I save ever sales receipt for every thing.

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jal_ut
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Re: Anyone else keep financial track of how much you grow?

Gary, I am an old dog, retired. I do get some benefits from social security. My house was paid off before retirement, so I don't need much money to survive on. Since I show no income, there is no taxes.

To digress: It was a beautiful day here. 51 degrees and breezy. Weather Man says we are likely to get snow this weekend. Let 'er rip!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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