Charles Hugh Smith On “The Cash Value of Home Gardens”

I love Mr. Smith’s Articles… Mostly about economics… and nothing is more about economics than gardening and farming.


The Cash Value of Home Gardens   (May 2, 2015)

The ROI (return on investment) of a home garden can be $1,000 a year and $30/hour.

The benefits of a vegetable garden extend beyond the food being grown and the superiority of that food in nutritional value and quality over agribusiness-grown vegetables. I listed some of these intangible benefits in The Hidden Value of Gardens (September 13, 2014).

But we shouldn’t overlook the actual cash value of gardening. The ROI (return on investment) of a productive home garden can be $1,000 a year and $30/hour.

Longtime correspondent Bart D. (Australia) recently shared a spreadsheet of his garden’s yields, the cash value of these harvests and his cash/labor costs.

Rather surprisingly (at least to me), his garden produced over $1,000 in cash value and netted him over $30/hour.

“This economic summary excludes my fruit growing and poultry enterprises.

A major point of value that this overview doesn’t show is the huge improvement in the ‘quality’ of the product being consumed as prices are only for ‘supermarket grade’ product. I believe that the real value amount should be raised by somewhere between 50% and 100% of the amount shown to reflect the improved quality.

The quantities are metric. Conversion is 1 square metre is about 10.7 square feet. There are 2.2Lbs to the Kg.

I feel the $33.30 per hour of time invested is a return worth pursuing for anyone in a low to medium income household. Beats the $9.00 per hour being offered by Walmart!

One hour in your own garden means 4 hours you don’t have to spend shifting stock at Walmart to earn money to buy food.”

CHECK OUT THE COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE: He includes a chart of what was grown, time involved and money made from the effort.