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In some ‘discussions’ with DW, the point has been made that my growing vegetables, and raising animals for milk, meat and eggs, are no different than her raising flowers. It is strictly a “hobby”, as she says she can get vegetables cheap, for example, 3 ears of corn for a dollar.

Somehow in my mind, I had deluded myself into thinking food production was more than a sport. I find my motivation slipping away.
 

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My dh would agree with some of that. We have a huge garden and before the corn came in were at the farmers market and they had a dozen ears of yellow corn for $2.00. But with the drought everything has gone sky-high and our veggies don't have any poisons. We haven't used any poisons in 22yrs. and it has to be better for us. We have black angus and the meat is the best you have ever tasted.

It might not be any cheaper but it is healthier IMHO. Queen Bee
 

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Food production is important to my quality of life, my independance and my overall security. It also happens to be one of my most favourite activities. As far as I know, if you make part of your living from it, it's no longer a hobby. What more direct way to make a living than by producing some of the food you need to remain living?

Don't lose heart! :hobbyhors
 

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Veg. gardening and animal raising is certainly not a hobby around here.We rely on our products to feed ourselves. Over the last 30 years we have saved a ton of money by our homesteading. We raised 3 kids that way. We save our own seed so we don't buy any, unless we want to try something new. You can grow a lot of veg from a small packet of seeds. Plus, they are organic veg. which are expensive to buy. All our animals have been a good deal for us. I keep books to make sure they save us money and again you know what they eat and how they were raised. Much healthier than the stuff in the supermarket.Anyway we enjoy it,we're both just dirt farmers at heart. :) Don't get disheartened, its a good thing to be self sufficient. Be happy you are giving your family good quality food. If you enjoy it, do it. Doesn't matter what other people think.
 

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growing my own vegetables and meat isn't considered any more 'hobby' to me than going shopping in a grocery store for it. Maybe it's cheaper in the store, and maybe not. Mostly NOT, as far as I'm concerned. Comparing something like sweet corn prices here also I noticed in the store 6 for $2. That's about as cheap as I've seen it in 3 years. Usually it's around $5 a dozen in season, and it's much better grown locally. I grew sweet corn this year, ready to harvest in about 3 weeks. I'm expecting about 20 dozen to put up. The seed cost about $5 for that. I use organic made fertilizer on the homestead from good healthy compost. Is it worth it? Well, there is the time and labour to put that corn garden in, for example. Excluding that part (which is a 'hobby' like shopping might be for some other people), I guess it's worth it. Even if I spent double and it was $10 or even triple at $15. For 20 dozen top notch organic fresh picked homestead grown sweet corn....ain't bad...... about 5 cents a dozen if your bean counting. Besides, I got pole beans also growing up the corn stalks and squash in the patch as a 'bonus'. Ever price top notch organic grown specialty squash like table gold or white acorn squash?
 

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For the first time in about 20 years it is actually profitable for us. It does take some time to acquire the tools and knowledge necessary to become efficient. We have always done it for the quality and the way prices are going we are truly saving money. Not too many hobbies can pay you. We're no making about $10/hour for our hobby.
 

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I consider growing my own food almost a necessity. It's dangerous to go shopping in the stores today. Who knows what kind of poison will be found in which food next.
 

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DJ in WA said:
In some ‘discussions’ with DW, the point has been made that my growing vegetables, and raising animals for milk, meat and eggs, are no different than her raising flowers. It is strictly a “hobby”, as she says she can get vegetables cheap, for example, 3 ears of corn for a dollar.

Somehow in my mind, I had deluded myself into thinking food production was more than a sport. I find my motivation slipping away.
IF you're raising your produce and meat without the chemicals used in commercial production, she probably can't touch the same product for what it costs you to put it on the table. The side benefits of nutrition, flavor and health advantages simply add gravy to the mashed potatoes of the financial savings (not to diminish the value of those). If you're selling your excess, it just adds to the 'profitability' of your efforts.
 

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I like knowing that my food has not been sprayed with chemicals or picked by someone who doesn't wash after going to the bathroom OR actually pees in the field right beside what is being picked...My food is fresh - not trucked long distances - and has been processed for storage correctly and cleanly by myself. You can't put a price on wholesome homegrown food or good health!!!
 

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Master Of My Domain
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should i pay 65 cents for a 12 ounce can of green beans, or was the $1.30 i spent for seed that yielded 40 quarts a good investment? i know one thing...the store bought green beans are terrible! my beans rock!

how about the sweet corn? it sells for $4 to $4.50 per dozen locally. i admit, i bought a dozen ears and it was out of this world. at least i know it is local. i guess if a person spends $2 for a small pack of seeds that will plant and 8 ft. x 8 ft. patch, maybe it will break even if it encounters adversity. if the same person goes to a hardware store that sells bulk seed and spends $2 for 1/4 lb. of seed, the patch it will plant grows larger and so do the yields.

the price of bedding plants is a little high. i didn't start my own broccoli this year and bought plants for $1.30 per 4 pack. out of 12 plants ($3.90) i only got 2 small heads and a few tiny ones that started to bolt...the groundhogs got more than i did. what i harvested equaled 1.5 heads of nice store bought broccoli. that was a bust economically, but i know how mine was grown. the plants i bought for the fall were $2 per 6 pack...i hope for 12 nice heads for $4...and maybe a roasted groundhog, lol.

my potatoe crop was small, but i still made out as i spent less than $3 for seed potatoes and got about 40-50 lbs. of spuds. i think the margin on the onions was not so good, but i bet i got my money's worth and broke even...and i know what went into it. plus, i let 2 plants go to seed and hope to start my own onions in february and avoid buying onion sets.

i forgot to mention that i have a second crop of beans planted from seed i saved myself from last year's beans. i tested the seed this spring in another plot and it germinated, so i know my fall crop of beans from my own seed will work.

let's talk fruit. i have strawberry plants that produce well and make lots of plants to share with other folks. i gave away 50 plants this year and doubled the size of my strawberry patch to boot. even with extreme loses of berries to insects, i got several gallons of berries for myself. berries sold for $3.75-$3.95 per quart locally. i didn't spend a dime on raspberries...and i never will i suppose. i encourage the berries that are already here...not sure if they are native or natuaralized, but they are prolific. i got several gallons of those as well. raspberries were $3 for a 6 oz. package in the grocery store.

sure, somethings don't seem economical to grow. my neighbor spent 50 cents per plant for romaine lettuce...that was eaten by varmints. i doubt you would need to spend much for a head of romaine lettuce. there are many benefits to growing your own stuff. pride is one. being sure of the ingredients is another. the best one is security. not only do you have the security of food coming in, you have the security of gaining knowledge and experience to be able to do it if you really need to.
 

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I feel your pain. My inlaws and sometimes my hubby gives me grief about that "worthless" garden. Not usually my hubby. But if your not raking in the dough they don't see the reason. Well now they want some of my tomatoes! Oh! you mean from that worthless garden?! NOT!
As the recalls on everything under the sun and the reports of ecoli etc...continue there may be some changing of tunes... if not I keep getting gratification by doing what I love. I feed us plus countless others. That feels good so I'll keep doing it. Lisa
 

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The Simple Life is far from simple. Planning your food supply a year in advance and making allowances for crop failures is far more complex than stopping down to the store for a Lean Cusine. Making sure that package of seeds is fully utilized and we grow more of what we can grow cheaper than the stores and less of what can be bought for less than my costs to grow it. This is a tough topic. Often it requires some serious soul searching. If you've spent your year's food budget on seeds, manure and a Mantis tiller and a crop failure would leave you with empty shelves, that's homesteading. If you can simply buy more potatoes after the bugs and woodchuck atew your crop, then it's a hobby. When it's a hobby it is far easier to maintain your conviction to organicly grown foods, 'cause a crop failure won't leave you hungry. If you are hungry its easier to throw a bit of Sevin on those pesky cabbage worms. Controling costs of food production, maintaining your organic standards and growing a year's worth of balanced diet with a wide aray of meats, vegetables and fruits is hard work. The word "Hobby" sort of down plays that effort.
 

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I have always found that if I don't grow produce I will only buy a limited amount of it rather than eating all I would if it came from the garden, all due to cost.

As others have pointed out once you have the equipment there is limited input costs for seed, good healthy transplants, fertilizers, and the like.

How much does it cost to put a bag of green beans into the freezer? The cost of energy to heat water to blanch the beans, lots of cold water to quickly cool them, and a plastic bag to seal them into. Ditto for other crop production.

IT DOES TAKE A LOT OF TIME TO PREPARE MANY CROPS FOR STORAGE! I have been up past midnight many a time putting crops into the freezer. This was because of working a full time job elsewhere and getting zero help from my wife. One could do many small processes I suppose but when the crops are at their peak it is better to miss some sleep and process them for storage.

What I do question is buying a transplant and paying almost as much for it as the finished product sells for in the store. Example: cauliflower transplant at 89¢ while it sells for 99¢ a head in the stores (on sale). Same for broccoli but you can get extra production from it. Grow my own transplants, not an option for me.
 

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Nick and I see the garden as an investment in a healthy lifestyle. As pointed out, there is a learning curve (especially for a city girl and a suburb boy), but we do all right, and by next year I do believe we'll be close to 100% on the garden feeding us for the year. Or maybe 75%. Don't want to count my chickens before they hatch!

The quality of the food we grow is superior. Yeah, I will occasionally pick up a case or two of vegetables if they're on a screaming good sale, and if meat is going for dirt cheap I'll pick that up as well. But we prefer to eat the stuff we grow and can. With rabbit production entering into our homesteading, we're increasing our self-sufficiency as well as decreasing the amount of "additives" that find their way into the general food supply.

Hobby? Not really. Avocation? Perhaps. Lifestyle? Yeah, I think that's it. :D

Pony!
 

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I live in the 'burbs with a small yard and limited means to grow veggies. I still do it, and will apologize to no one. There is much more to growing ones own food than simply putting calories on the table. For me it is a connection to the earth and to my history. I was raised by my grandparents who only bought the staples at the store; flour, sugar, tea, coffee, salt. The rest came from our six acres. By growing my few tomatoes, peppers and other stuff I am honoring their memory. It is as much spiritual as it is ecomonics.

galump
 

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Does it really matter whether it's a hobby, or not?

Grocery store produce can't compare with homegrown veggies and there is absolutely no sense of self satisfaction in going to the store.

We do these things for much, much more than counting nickels and dimes. A person needs something in their life that they can take pride in, and be totally immersed in. Our homestead is all that for us. What is that worth?

Providing for one's self and family is huge in this day and age.
 

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I'll have to say my 1st garden, since childhood, this season was a hobby since I spent about $50 preparing the plot & buying seeds. Harvested NO corn b/c the rain beat it flat to the ground (& it was beautiful too :( ), no beets came up, got 2 carrots, no peas, no radishes, 6 bags of great salad greens. Have some cherry tomatoes coming up from the compost I spread. :)

Patty
 

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If it makes you feel better, think of your wife's hobby as a VGIT, vegetable grower in training project. I've always felt when criticized for growing flowers, that if you can grow flowers you will be a great resource when TSHTF, because you have the growing basics down and can switch to veggies.
I also think that you could look at her growing flowers as "work" and worthwhile. You may be feeding the body with your "work" while she is feeding your spirit.
And hobby isnt' a bad word. Yours and hers give you exercise, fresh air and sunshine. It's much better than sitting in a bar, gambling, being a couch potato, watching sports rather than participating. Gardening, veggie or flower, has so many upsides that there is little to complain about.
Why not both just enjoy each others work and/or hobbies as positive, creative, constructive things!
Ann
Oh, another thing: your motivation shouldn't be propeled by how others view your work, but rather by what you get from it.
 
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