On Sundays, I've been sharing how to earn money from hobbies. Some hobbies can also save you money, which is just as good. Like many advocates of frugality and simple living, Kris and I take pleasure in growing our own food. We started planning our garden in February. Today, on Easter — a day of rebirth — we paused to examine our work.
Kris' tomatoes and flowers are healthy and strong:
In the vegetable garden, sprouts are peeking through the soil. The snow peas are up; in just a few weeks, we'll be snacking on them from the vine. Asparagus takes three years to mature into edible stalks. This year will be the first that we can harvest it.
Our onions and lettuce are doing well. (We never have much success with lettuce, though. It's always bitter, and we don't know why.)
Oregon is known for its hearty berry production, and our yard is no different. The raspberries and blackberries are growing vigorously. We already have some strawberry blossoms, too! (It seems early for strawberries.)
We have two neighbors with huge grape arbors. When we moved in, they allowed us to take cuttings. They've also continued to offer advice as our vines have grown. We'll actually be able to harvest some of the fruit for the first time this year.
When one neighbor built a new house, he let us dig out his 25-year-old blueberry bushes. We have five plants that will produce a lot of yummy berries. We also planted two apple trees, a prune, and a pear. Each of these is blossoming now. With luck, we'll be able to make a pie this fall.
Gardening isn't for everyone: some people don't have the temperament, others don't have the space. But if you're willing to put in the time and the effort, you'll be rewarded with a bounty of fruit, berries, and vegetables.
Last year, we estimated that our garden saved us hundreds of dollars, especially on berries. If I can remember, next year I'll keep a detailed record of our expenditures (in time and money), as well as the financial value of our produce. (For various reasons, I can't do such a project this year.)
Author: J.D. Roth
In 2006, J.D. founded Get Rich Slowly to document his quest to get out of debt. Over time, he learned how to save and how to invest. Today, he's managed to reach early retirement! He wants to help you master your money — and your life. No scams. No gimmicks. Just smart money advice to help you reach your goals.