>Home gardening – how do you rate?

>Mother Nature Network continues to be one of my favorite sites. Today their newsletter led me to this graphic describing home gardeners in the U.S. According to their statistics, I fit the mold pretty darn well.

  • College Graduate
  • Age 45 or (ahem) older
  • Average amount spent per household: $70 (seeds, seedlings, supports, etc.)
  • Average return on investment: $530 ($600 dollar return – $70 investment = $530)
  • Most common foods grown: tomatoes, beans, summer squash, lettuce, peas, peppers.
If I’m honest, my cost is a bit closer to $100. I invested in starter soil for seeds, a mini-greenhouse, and organic heirloom seedlings, all of which cost a bit more than the average. I believe it will pay off in quality, if not quantity. It’s not the $64 tomato, but it’s a sizable investment.
Time spent: their average is 5 hours a week. I’ll say it varies. Between watering, weeding, and making compost and chasing away the critters, I spent at least that. The time spent is an investment in the garden and its food output. This time is also an investment in my own peace of mind. While I’m weeding and watering, my mind is wandering. I’m thinking and processing all kinds of random thoughts, sometimes working through problems or writing whole blog posts in my head. There’s no dollar amount to attach to the mental health benefits of caring for a garden. I call it priceless.

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