I ask because of this interesting post about allotment costs. They say growing your own saves money, but of course this is largely bollocks. Add in everything you shell out for (and I mean everything relevant, including share of greenhouse purchase amortised over a few years) and it all adds up.
Take this corn, for instance. To my shame, it’s not an open-pollinated variety… so I had to buy it because I couldn’t save my own seed (which I generally do). Then there’s the peat pots I raised it in, the (bought) compost I filled them with, plus the few bags of manure I bought for the soil (too time-poor to collect all my manure ‘free’ from local stables).
And that’s not all. There’s all the tools I buy and replace when they break or wear out, plus sharpeners and maintenance and the odd drop of petrol/diesel for driving to the plot with a boot-load of crap. Plus netting and fleece for crops that need them. Plus books about gardening (which never feature on anybody’s costs list, but should). If I was into fertiliser and chemicals, they’d cost too.
In short, I grow the most expensive sweetcorn in the world. Even if I cut my costs to the bone, I couldn’t possibly compete with a supermarket cob on price.
So why do it? Well, as they say in the PG Tips advert, “it’s the taste“. Innit.
Oh, and the exercise too – which, perversely, I enjoy. Anyone reckon they actually save money on their plot… if they’re really, really honest?