Thursday, June 3, 2010

Paying for our Growing Hobby

Summer is here, complete with thunderstorms and mosquitoes. And...let's not forget my new hobby.. local garden markets. My first venture into this was my little last year's debut at the OARDC Midweek Market. I was thrilled to go home with a few greenbacks in my pocket...never mind, that all in all I probably spent more than I made--paying for the space, buying stall decorations, packaging, labeling etc. Definitely...not a get rich quick scheme.
But... I am doing it again this year...and yesterday was the first market. I was just happy to have produce from my garden this early. I had beets, spinach, strawberries, lettuce, green onions, swiss chard, kohlrabi, and snow peas. This afternoon I will be taking the same thing to the Local Roots market.

This year I've expanded to include a Local Roots market. What a fun group of people to meet and talk with each week.

My garden is expanding and hopefully my growing expertise. I admit years past my efforts at gardening pretty much went to waste in a hit or miss kind of way. The worst waste..actually was not harvesting on a timely schedule. Can you believe it?

The few dollars that we smaller market gardeners get for a bag of spinach, or a quart of strawberries isn't nearly enough to pay for all the labor and time that goes into it. Most of us do it because we are in love with growing things. One of my garden club friends actually admitted that she loves weeding. I think I do too. There is something special about nurturing and making space for special plants to grow and mature. The bizarre thing about producing beautiful that we help them along and then ..EAT them.

But...the point to this is that with market gardening I am getting a little return and the actual cost of my growing hobby is being repaid. I get back the cost of my seeds. am producing better quality food for my own family, and really getting a few cents for my time.

Our growing hobby is also growing slowly. I would never consider borrowing money to do this thing...and we don't have pocket money to spend on gadgets and growing tools that would make the label less and increase we are doing it the old fashioned way... a little at a time, learning as we go.

Another thought to share...commercial vegetable production has come a long way and we are lucky to have it. It probably isn't as nasty for us as some folks would like to have it. The alternative might be NO vegetables and fruits for many people. That would be a sad thing.


  1. Millie, what a great post! I think what you are doing is remarkable and very important for you and for us, local market customers. I enjoyed reading and laughed when read about us taking care of vegetables and then eating them!So true! All the best to you!!!

  2. I am so thankful for local market suppliers! I can't grow everything in my garden but we so love fresh produce. Thank you for what you do! I wish you well during this season of harvest.♥

  3. Thanks for stopping by. I love farmers too. The big ones, the little ones, and all the one's in between. Especially I love the farmers that care for their land, and their animals in a sustainable way...and provide us with good quality safe food that is affordable to all of us.