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Garden Journal – Excuses, Excuses

Porn for Gardeners

So, I know it’s an addiction, but I’m not sure that it really rises to the level of the problem. After all, it’s not as if I don’t produce something useful with my habit. I mean, name any other substance you can abuse all summer, and end up with a bowl full of cherry tomatoes.

Speaking of tomatoes, non-gardeners will say that the one you grow in your backyard has a bigger carbon footprint or costs $64,000 more than the faded orange excuses for tomatoes offered in neat pyramids at the big-box grocers. Well, instead of falling back on a trite “If it’s too fresh, you’re too old” or “If I have to explain the dirt under my fingernails you wouldn’t understand,” I’m conducting a little experiment this summer to see just how expensive my fresh tomato is.

This summer, I’m going to keep a record of how much is spent on seedlings and other garden paraphenalia, as well as time used that could be spent making money on other endeavors. Then I’m going to calculate the returns on my investment.

A disclaimer, I can’t promise not to recruit any other younger people to gardening. It is not my fault they just wander into my garden and start snacking on cherry tomatoes or that they assume the sweet peas are candy.  I do think, when food finicky seven-year-old Thing2 is munching on a chemical free tomato he didn’t have to wash first, my justification will be written all over his face.