Gardens are weird. I'll admit that.
From a pure economic standpoint, individual gardens don't make a ton of sense. It's the opposite of economies of scale and specialized work, which tend to maximize output (and returns). In theory, I should spend my time doing something I'm great at (like analyzing data), earn my maximum potential, and then buy food at the store. Even if I buy local organic food, they can grow it more efficiently, and probably even healthier than I can, at a lower overall cost.
As a economist, it's hard not to think about that.
But them I'm also a male... who would just as easily spend my hard earned money buying pizza instead of something genuinely healthy. Anyways...
Now we found ourselves looking to expand our garden from one bed, to four. And not so we can specialize in one specific crop and trade with our neighbors, but so we can grow a variety of foods for us to eat (and let's be honest, have less grass to mow).
Because it's fun. I really don't want to sit at a computer ALL DAY doing work. And this is an excuse to go outside and hang out with Jessi.
Because fresh food tastes excellent. Pizza sauce made 100% from the garden just tastes better!
Because it does still provide an opportunity to trade with neighbors and build relationships. It also provides opportunities to strike up conversations while watering/weeding/harvesting.
And because in the end there is more to life than maximizing economic output. Which is exactly the argument I'm going to use when I suggest we buy a moisture sensor that will regulate when we water the lawn (because that "investment" will never make sense).
This year we're planning on growing a bunch of things like: tomatoes, peas, corn, sun flowers, pumpkins, asparagus, sweat potatoes, and watermelons (maybe... we hear it's tough in Oregon). Some herbs include, fennel, oregano, basil, and parsley.
If you have any suggestions, we'd love to hear about it. If we run out of room, that just means we'll have to expand again next year. :)