Middle son had some practical maths yesterday.
He had to work out whether our gardening is cost effective.
There are a few assumptions in these calculations:
-seeds were brought in the 50% sale
-yields were compared with the cheapest non-organic store range which is what we buy. The vegetables we grow are organic in all but certification but he didn't compare with organic prices.
-time was not included
We did not allow for other benefits of growing our own:
-little ones who know that fruit and vegetables don't grow in packets
-satisfaction of growing our own
-organic produce which we would usually not eat
What were his findings?
Rather expensive to grow: tomatoes. In fact, we've made a big loss unless we get a bumper crop which doesn't look likely.
Expensive this year but may recoup costs another year: blackcurrants and raspberries. This was because of the cost of netting. We were given the raspberry canes and the blackcurrants weren't expensive.
Cost effective: garlic
Was this a useful exercise?
Probably, I need to have a careful think about tomatoes for next year. The main costs were the expensive seeds due to previous problems with blight and compost. We do make our own compost but most of this was used on the potatoes so we brought growbags for the tomatoes.
The calculations of yield had to be a bit rough and ready but still worth doing.
Middle son enjoyed his maths which has to be a bonus. He had to work on estimation especially of yields, price per weight and comparing different measurements. Hopefully, he will be able to advise how much of each profitable crop to grow but that is for another day.
This is linked to Frugal Gardening 101.