Saturday, 16 December 2017

Is There Any Point Growing Your Own When Vegetables Are So Cheap?






A new store opened in our local town the other week.  So I reluctantly went for a look round the store.  I usually head for the centre aisles to see what special offer highlights are for sale.  So you spend 27 Cents for a tin of "El Cheapo" baked beans and 300 Euros for a 52 inch colour television that promises to cook your tea.  OK I exaggerate.  But you know what I mean.  

Any road.  I walked every aisle and even checked out the price of vegetables.  Ten bob or 50 Cents for a York cabbage.  Sixty Cents for a small bag of onions...  What on earth (even fym) am I doing hand weeding onions when I can buy them so cheap?  The vegetables are probably sprayed and grown with chemicals and have massive carbon footprints from Israel and Scunthorpe?  But what the heck, they're cheap!  

Am I going to stop growing my own?  Of course not?  But I realize I don't need to have a big plot.  I will use some of it for more garden and for plant propagation.  What do you think?

Here's a funny song about Lidl for you!

28 comments:

  1. Grow your own and keep at it with a clear conscience. The supermarkets rip the growers off all the time. It is always the grower who loses, not the supermarket. I don't know how growing your own helps this but at least you are not part of the disgusting cult of supermarket purchasing contracts which are always weighted against the grower. Two for one? The grower has to provide the two and the supermarket pays only for one. It is is the contact. The supermarkets never lose and they all do it.

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  2. Hi Rachel. I will always grow my own if I can. You obviously talk with much experience when your family farm business. I think we all have to shop around living in such expensive countries like the UK and Ireland. The vegetables from the cheaper supermarkets are OK during the hunger gap of Winter and we have few available for picking during this time. Thanks!

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  3. Sorry. That should say.. You obviously talk with much experience from when you had your farm family business..

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    1. Yes, I got it Dave! We didn't grow vegetables but I know the racket that goes on in between field and supermarket shelf. It is all very well to shop around but spare a thought for the grower. The same applies to grape growers and apple growers on the continent who get treated exactly the same way by the supermarket buyers (as opposed to shoppers).

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    2. Thanks Rachel for telling us how it is.

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  4. must admit i dont grow onions , theyre not caked in chemicals even when theyre commercially grown , they just chuck them in and harvest them

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Kate. I think most commercially grown vegetables are grown in chemical fertilizers and sprayed with pesticides and weedkillers. Organic is not an option for a lot of people unless they grow their own. I have seen organic vegetables in the cheap supermarkets flown in from Israel in a plastic bag. Thanks!

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  5. Sadly people look very closely at price now, nobody thinks (or knows) about the background to these prices, or quite often don't care either as long as they get cheap food.

    Lidl isn't any different from the other big superstore chains, but at least they pass on some of the savings to their customers.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cumbrian. You are so right people are more concerned about the price than where the food comes from or what loss the farmer made. I have never made a profit on our smallholding when we have sold livestock.

      Lidl makes our money stretch longer and is often half the price of some of the big supermarkets. Thanks!

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  6. As Rachel suggests the supermarkets distort the market at the expense of producers. They can also accommodate loss leaders, focussing on the basics. Milk is a prime example, so we say goodbye to small and medium scale dairy farms. There's an ethical principle here. I go to enormous efforts to grow decent brassicas and I see a field of pristine cabbages which have been sprayed to an inch of their lives. Anyone who has grown their own, sat tomatoes, will know that theirs out-taste the supermarket version. Do you like asparagus? Grow your own or from a local grower or otherwise eat asparagus imported from Chile. Some of the reasons for growing your own. There's also the 'craftsmanship' that goes with the process. And anyway, I enjoy hoeing.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your thoughts Philip. I also have a vegetable plot and we have never purposely used man made chemicals on our vegetables and plots. But we also buy veg when ours isn't ready or out of season. I think price is an important factor when people shop. Thanks!

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  7. I never gave a thought to the raising of meat or the growing of veg and happily bought from the supermarkets. And then we came to France and started producing a lot of our own food and discovered the joy of eating produce which actually had a taste to it and was not covered in chemicals. That will keep me growing my own for as long as I can.

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    Replies

    1. Good for you Vera. You can't beat growing your own can you?

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  8. Grow your own, definitely. Think of all the chemicals used to stimulate growth and make them look attractive. Unfortunately, I don't have a choice.

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    1. You are right Valerie. We don't all have a choice or land to grow our vegetables. I use to have an allotment in England and I miss the camaraderie and meeting other growers. Thanks!

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  9. Dave,
    Best thing about Lidl's is the amount of Organic and Gluten free products they sell and different to most other stores the staff are very helpful as well as being friendly - at least the ones in the Irish midlands are for sure.
    What they don't do is have a separate section for the organic veg, which means they can be easily overlooked.

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  10. Thanks for your comment about Lidl Heron. It would be good if they had an organic or chemical free separate section for fruit and vegetables. This would make them reasonably priced for every body.

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  11. I am trying walking onions in the coming season. My cousin raves about them. hopefully I will be growing as much as possible now I have the space! lets hope we can build beds asap, as we are on clay that you could throw a pot with!

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  12. I have never grown walking onions Sol. Must give them a go. Are you making raised beds with block or with planks? A few trailer loads of muck and topsoil mixed with river sand will give you great ground. One good thing about clay is it keeps the nutrients in. Mizzle and fog here.

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    1. yes raised beds as I dont want to have to replace them as it is boggy down there, we will be using blocks. Its going to be hard as it is so muddy and as you walk you pick up enough mud and clay to make a dinner set! I am looking forward to growing the onions as you just put them in and let them go. they need to be in a contained bed.

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    2. I wonder how much the prices of food are going to change post Brexit

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    3. I don't think anybody really knows Sol except the British farmers won't be getting EEC subsidies to help them keep the price down and I am sure there will have to be a tariff or customs for stuff coming in from the EEC. It's all not very clear is it?

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    4. If you could get seconds blocks you could make them waist high and you could put seats on the top for easy planting and weeding. I think paving is another thing on a veg plot and help you get about even when its muddy. I once worked on a golf course and we made golf greens with a sand/fenland soil mix. It was wonderful ground.

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