Interview with Chris from Backyard Gardening / Frugal Hobby Series #2
|April 18, 2012||Posted by thecheapskatemom under diy, ecofriendlykitchen, environment, features, food, fun, hobbies, hobby, home, household, interviews, kitchen, lifestyle, summer|
the frugal hobby series focuses on hobbies which are both inexpensive and potentially financially beneficial. if you are a frugal hobbyist, i’d really love to interview you.
I remember I had an Italian babysitter growing up. Her Finnish husband Sulo was an avid gardener in retirement – he would spend every summer day in the wonderland he had created out of his small backyard. In the afternoon his wife Filomena would give him a grocery list of what vegetables she needed him to harvest for dinner that night. I remember the food was always incredible - backyard gardens are fresh, frugal and the definition of locally grown. I was interested in learning more about gardening as a hobby and as a frugal one at that.
1. How did you first discover gardening? How long have you been gardening?
I don’t remember, I recall having vegetable gardens as a kid, and by that I mean it was my garden, not my parent’s garden, or my brother’s garden, mine (and they didn’t have one). My dad built it for me. I don’t remember if I asked for it or he did it to encourage me or what, but I had one. My grandfather was a big gardener though too, though I never did any gardening with him, maybe it is genetic. Just, for as long as I can remember, I’ve liked growing things.
3. In what ways is gardening cost-effective or even money saving for you?
I think about cost a lot, but I don’t think gardening is very cost effective for me. I have a flower I spent $200 on for example. On the other hand I do try to be frugal (I guess so I can splurge the savings into some rare plant). When growing food particularly I look for a good bang for my buck (or garden space). For instance cabbages are fairly easy to grow, but so inexpensive at the store they’re hardly worth the room. Mesclun lettuces, on the otherhand, are way overpriced at the store, but easy to grow, and take up very little room. I favor growing berries since they’re also so expensive at the store. I also encourage people to grow perrenials, like berries, but also like asparagus, because over the long term they end up being so cheap. I’m sure if push came to shove I could garden more cheaply than I do, but thankfully I can afford to indulge myself sometimes. Gardening is my number one hobby, some people like to fish and buy a $10,000 boat to do that, so compared to that maybe an expensive tree or plant isn’t so unreasonable.
5. You have an excellent website and blog available as a resource for new gardeners. What other resources do you recommend for newbies? I’m not really sure I have any, Google I guess. Since Paul James went off the air there aren’t any strictly gardening TV shows I watch, and magazines tend to drift away from pure gardening too. I think internet forums are very helpful since you can generally talk to other gardeners and get the exact answer you need, which if you’re searching on Google that is likely where you may end up.