Tough Times? Grow Your Own Food!

As more Americans tighten their belts to save a penny or two, many are finding they can save money by growing food-producing gardens

While most sectors of the economy are detracting, seed companies have seen 20 to 30 percent sales growth. Irish Eyes Garden Seeds, a wholesale seed company in Washington, expects to gross $1 million this year. Owners Greg and Sue Lutovsky attribute increasing business in a falling economy to seeds’ value. Greg told The Seattle Times that a person with a limited income could pay $2 for a head of lettuce or spend $2 on a packet of 300 seeds that will last all summer long. 

Seed sales have risen 20 to 30 percent as more people turn to food-producing gardens to save money and feed themselves. Photo By SatrinaO/Courtesy Flickr 

In addition to producing food, seeds can provide income. Many of Irish Eyes’ customers purchase seeds so they can sell the produce later. One customer, a part-time contractor who also sold produce at a farmer’s market, bought 500 pounds of potato seeds, which will result in 5,000 pounds of potatoes. Burpee, the world’s largest seed company, offers a great deal on its website: For $10, customers can purchase $20 worth of seeds, which – according to Burpee – will yield $650 worth of vegetables. 

Gardening is not all about saving money. You get the pleasure of working on a project you created. You can eat fresh, organic food that hasn’t been genetically modified. You can even trade produce with other, garden-growing neighbors in your community.