You Can Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet

In 2008  Rosalind Creasy, author of one of the best books on gardening, "Edible Landscaping", set out to prove what would happen if Americans set aside just part of their lawns to grow edibles.  She took a 5 x 20 foot section of her lawn and turned it into a garden.  The result was that in that small 100 square foot area she was able to grow $700 worth of food.

From April to September, her little organic garden produced 77.5 pounds of tomatoes, 15.5 pounds of bell peppers, 14.3 pounds of lettuce, and 2.5 pounds of basil — plus 126 pounds of zucchini.  At the current local prices for this produce in 2008, Ms. Creasy calculated the little garden produced $746.52.  However, after expenses of seed and compost she figured the costs at $63.09. Thus $683.43 for her savings. However, a woman from Iowa calculated that this organic produce would have  cost $975.18 to purchase in a store.

A 100 Square Foot Garden is a Win-Win for the Planet

According to the Garden Writers Association, 84 million U.S. households gardened in 2009. Ms. Creasy reasoned that if just half of them (42 million) planted a 100-square-foot garden, 96,419 acres (about 150 square miles) would no longer be in lawns.  Thus there would be no need for the tremendous resources used in keeping them manicured. If folks got even one-half of the yields Ms. Creasy obtained, the national savings on groceries would be about $14.35 billion!  

Read the entire story on this garden and view the spreadsheets of its related records at Mother Earth News.