Recession Gardening

By glblguy


Given our current economic trend, people are looking for all kinds of ways to save money and reduce expenses. One such way that is being highly touted by the media is Recession Gardening. Recession Gardening is such the fad lately, that even major news outlets like CNN and MSNBC are publishing stories about it.

We started a vegetable garden this year. We’ve wanted a nice one for years but never had the room. When we purchased our current house in October, we finally had the room the grow the garden we had been wanting to for years. Has it helped cut a food bills? Maybe a little, but its been more fun and rewarding than anything.

I was reading an interesting perspective on recession gardening recently and I’ll have to say I agree with the perspective. For many, growing a garden is a fad. Vegetable gardening is something that they’ll do while times are tight, but once the economy recovers and things get back to normal, the vegetable garden will grow over with weeds and just become part of the yard again. Some I’m sure are finding that the garden is saving them money, and I really hope that others are finding that it’s more than a money saving effort, but it’s fun.

My wife and I love working in the garden, and so do our kids. Sure, they can’t stand tiling it, and weeding it but they absolutely love going up each to check on the growth and picking the vegetables that are ready. While not big vegetable eaters, something about growing them and picking them themselves has changed their appetites for eating them.

My favorite part of the recession gardening perspective provided by the article was:

While I know that to our ancestors, an abundant garden meant survival, I hardly think we’re in that boat now. Nor do I think we will be again. Do I think we should grow as much of our own food as possible? Yes, of course. Do we need to know where our food comes from? Absolutely. But anything done out of fear is doomed to retain a negative connotation, especially for those who try it and fail (as so many of us fail, both at the beginning and throughout our gardening lives).

Are you gardening out of fear? If life returned to normal today would you continue gardening?  Don’t make that mistake. Make the focus of your garden more than just a money saving opportunity. For us, it’s time spent together as a family. It’s hard work and the fruits of our labor. It’s a reminder of times before a grocery store on every corner, when families relied only on themselves to survive. Our garden is fun, and even if we had all of the money in the world we would still grow one.

Here’s a few articles on gardening that I’ve enjoyed from other personal finance bloggers that enjoy gardening:

8 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Recession Gardening”

  1. Christi Spangler Says:

    Recession = people thinking of the true cost of our lifestyles Gardening is an enjoyable hobby and a great way to provide healthy organic produce for your family!

  2. Carrie Says:

    I also started gardening this spring. We definitely haven’t saved any money (start-up costs were more than I expected) but it has been a lot of fun.

  3. Stacey Says:

    We’ve been gardening for about 5 years now. It does save money now, but not a huge amount – maybe $100-$200 per year. Tomatoes and peppers are the best value for us. $2 for a six-pack of plants, and each plant produces more than a dozen tomatoes/peppers. :-) We also grow peas, string beans and berries, but they aren’t as much of a value when you consider the time and energy it takes to weed, water and harvest.

    I do like that our fresh-grown vegetables are organic, because there aren’t a lot of organic options in our local grocery stores!

  4. Michael Says:

    My wife got a kick out of my garden the first time she pulled out an onion for our omelets one morning. She thought it was so cool she we didn’t have to do without or having to drive down to the store.

    I enjoy knowing where my food comes from and what goes in it in the way of chemical pesticides/fertilizers; which happens to be none. Seems like every other week the FDA finds some food which is contaminated with E-coli or supposedly “organic” food isn’t actually organic. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes from being able to produce your own food and not having to rely on the chain of events that must take place in order for food to get from a farm (a foreign country in most cases) to the store and all the it entails for me getting to said store and being able to purchase food.

  5. Denise Says:

    In the past, I have gardened out of economic necessity. If we didn’t grow it, we didn’t eat it. Over the years, the garden has turned into a budget saving gift. I can grow many vegetables, or try to, that I can’t afford to buy as well as grow Christmas gifts. I do disagree with the person, in the article, that said he thought that the garden wasn’t key to many people’s survival. For quite a few, it really is the difference between eating vegetables and not eating them at all.

  6. J Says:

    I notice you haven’t said anything about trees. If you plant your fruit and nut trees strategically, they can offer your home protection from the wind, sun and cold . . . not to mention a curb appeal boost which will help when you sell your home.

  7. DDFD at Says:

    Many things are fashionable now– including gardening and frugality.

    When things get better, the new gardeners and newly frugal will slide into their old ways . . . the more things change the more they stay the same.