Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Garden ROI

Yes, I enjoy eating fresh, local food. In the summertime, this means right from my own garden. I grow lettuce, spinach, onions, beans, peppers and tomatoes. The trick here in Oregon's cool and sometimes rainy summers, is the salad ingredients aren't ready to harvest at the same time.

For instance, when the spring onions, spinach and lettuce are ready, the tomato plants are still sporting their spiked yellow blooms. When the tomatoes are ripe and juicy, the lettuce and spinach have long been harvested. My dream salad with ALL my ingredients in one bowl just isn't possible in my area, but I have some incredible meals with the daily crop which lasts long into October. It is healthy, organic, and pesticide free food, but it is also CHEAP!

You know me, I just can't resist telling you about the "business case" too, even one for my garden. I spent less than $10 this year on the starts and seeds needed for the entire summer. In lettuce alone, to date I have harvested 36 heads of butter lettuce and 12 heads of red leaf lettuce. Not a bad ROI and there's more to come! Last year, my cost was less than one penny per heirloom tomato.

No wonder some of the best chefs in our industry have started to grow their own gardens!

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