Food Minnesota Thrifty Tuesday

Thrifty Tuesday – A Garden Story

Hola! It’s Thrifty Tuesday! And while today’s topic isn’t 100% totally thrifty, it will save us money in the long run, so I decided it counts. Today is all about my garden!

If you’ve followed me for awhile you’d know we’ve had a CSA share (Community Supported Agriculture) that we’ve split with my in-laws for the last several years. Because of some changes our CSA was making we decided to not get the CSA share this year. Instead, Nate and I decided we’d expand our garden and grow more of our own veggies. We’ve done tomatoes for three years now so adding more didn’t seem like too much extra work.

The initial set up is not exactly thrifty. We do all of our plants from seed – seeds are not expensive at all. Nate orders our seeds from a company online and they are very reasonably priced. But to get the seeds started, we set up a little greenhouse in our basement with a heating pad and grow light, those were not cheap. However, now that we have these items, we can use them again and again.

When it came time to move them outside, Nate built a second raised bed for them, so of course the wood wasn’t exactly cheap. We also had to buy the dirt to fill the boxes. But again, now that the boxes are built, we will just be spending a little money on dirt each year.

And now we wait for the plants to grow and then they’ll give us lots of fresh veggies that we won’t have to spend money on at the store or Farmer’s Market. We will have tomatoes, peppers, radishes, green beans, collard greens, carrots, onions and corn. We also are growing tons of fresh herbs that we’ve already been able to use for cooking.

I think this will save us money this summer, again, while there is an initial investment in getting this all set up, now it’s ready to go. Next year we can just plant. We also have more control over what we get. With the CSA we never knew each week what we were getting until the day of delivery. This way we know we’re getting the veggies we like best. I’m pretty excited to watch my garden grow, it’s already been filling in nicely!

And I got a chuckle out of Nate’s makeshift scarecrow last night. He saw a crow hanging around and so he decided to make his own scarecrow out of a shovel and a bucket. And it is working so far! Another cost savings right there!

18 thoughts on “Thrifty Tuesday – A Garden Story

  1. Love your garden! I might have to come over and pick some veggies from you if you have an over abundance! We didn’t plant a garden this year and I have a feeling I’m going to be missing it terribly!

  2. That is the most awesome scarecrow I have ever seen. I love it, and I love that it works. Jokes on you birds!!! Happy growing. Wish we were neighbors, Id steal a radish or 2 off of ya because Im the only one that likes them here LOL Have a wonderful week!

  3. I loved my CSA back in California! I wish we had something like that here in TN! But, yes, most people have their own vegetable gardens. I can’t wait to own a plot of land so I can get my hands dirty! (And my belly fed)

    Seriously such a great investment!

  4. Can you come over and start a garden in my back yard?? Ha! I’m a terrible gardener, and while Aaron is better, he just isn’t into it. Half of the veggies I’d want to grow he wouldn’t even want to eat. Maybe one of these days I’ll take the time to learn more about it and give it a try–I’m sure you do save money in the long run. (And how awesome for Ollie to see where his food comes from!)

    1. I’m with you, Shea, but C is really into it so she gets my butt out of bed and out to weed and water every day. The things we do for kids, eh?!?

  5. I’ve always wanted to give growing my own veg a try but now we don’t have the garden for it. It’s a large garden but its all patio and rock/flower beds. 🙂
    Lianne | Makes, Bakes and Decor

  6. That looks amazing, I love your setup! Can you come do mine, too? 🙂 I definitely don’t have a green thumb, but I’d love to start a veggie garden.

  7. That is one hell of a garden! And props to the scarecrow. It would definitely scare the fur right off my blind dog.
    You put a lot of work into it. We used to have a garden in our backyard but…back to that blind dog of ours…he used to pluck the green tomatoes and flowers right off of the plants. We would have to make fences around it and even then, he would STILL get at the vegetables! He’s a sneaky dog!

  8. Oooh! Irrigation right in the beds! Impressive! It’s just me and my watering can (and C and hers, of course) every day. But I think there are two important points about your post that tie into the idea of thrift: investment (spending more to get something that will last is more thrifty than buying the cheapest but replacing every year) and obligation (when something costs more money than I’d like it to, I’m more likely to keep up my obligations to it to get my money’s worth). Given the amount of money that went into my garden this year, building two beds and only doing about half my vegetables from seed (I don’t get to pick my suppliers – my brother-in-law owns a greenhouse/nursery/landscaping company) and paying a pretty penny for the rest, I feel I can’t fail this year like I usually do!

    1. Yes, Nate definitely wanted the watering process to be easy – although there have been days we’ve turned on the water and then kind of forgot…and then we have a backyard flood. I just can’t wait to compare garden notes with you as stuff starts being harvested!

  9. I love your garden. I wish I had raised beds like that… I’ve been trying to garden in pots and it’s only been semi-successful.

  10. Awesome! I love having a home garden too. I notice I get a lot of bug’s in my tomatoes though. I don’t like to use pesticide’s or anything though so I just put up with it, really get excited when I get a ripe tomato that is bug-free. Do you know of any natural remedies by any chance??

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