What is your home garden worth?

Spring brings eternal gardening hopes. Every February, I plan the amazing garden we’re going to grow. Meanwhile, my husband gives me “the look” that reminds me how well he knows my annual pattern: by July, my enthusiasm will have waned and the garden will languish and wither. I agree that I’m good at starting things, but my finishes are sometimes weak.

Knowing my limitations, I intended to start small this year. But then I accidentally bought 8 (I wanted 5) yards of lovely topsoil … which led to the removal of the tree which blocked the neighbors’ view… which led to rototilling our front yard. Nuts.

Isn’t it lovely?

Clearly, we can’t stop now.

So, I’m hoping to transform the yard into a food production site.  Why?

  1. I love seeing my three sons graze on fresh fruits and vegetables – no parental coercion required!
  2. Nothing can beat a handful of fresh blueberries with your morning cereal… except maybe fresh raspberries with ice cream.
  3. While I find the whole locavore concept both intriguing and intimidating, I figure we can aim for  becoming partial, summer-time locavores.
  4. Carrying the torch for my frugal Scandinavian ancestors, I love the idea of free food.

There’s a thread in Zillow Advice about how much value professional landscaping adds to a home. Someone said 10% – that seems a little high. Then yesterday, I saw a great post about what a home garden is worth. This couple carefully tracked expenses and production last summer and calculated their output was worth $2,149.

While that is very impressive, I think I can beat that, but only if I can amortize over a 10-year period the purchase of about a dozen blueberry bushes.  Oh wait… those won’t produce for a few years. Maybe I should start counting in about 2012. Sigh. We probably won’t break even anytime soon, let alone turn a profit.

It’s a labor of love. This year I’m gonna make it all the way to a fall harvest. No, really.