When making your garden plan and you have decided to include fruit to be grown somewhere in your garden, first of all decide, regardless of whether you like the fruit, why you intend to grow, have you got a use for it, can you afford the space, time and effort involved in growing it and then if you intend to sell or trade this fruit, will you get a a viable return on this fruit. But if of course if you have the time and space and want it/like it to include in your diet then why not?
The reason this has to be worked out is very simple is that fruit is not an essential item, although a good source of Vitamin C, so are vegetables and any vegetables grown in the area of where you intend to grow fruit, will give you probably just as much Vitamin C and just as good a product in a shorter time with less effort. The exception for this would be strawberries which is a money making, easy to grow cash crop.
One way of getting a return on your fruit is by turning it into another viable product such as jam or wine. This way the excesses can be stored cheaply and sold or traded for cash or other products which will be needed elsewhere. If you have the space by all means grow some fruit.
Strawberries will give you a return in the first year but nearly all the other fruit you will be waiting for 2 years minimum before you can harvest a decent crop. Apples are another fruit crop which there is a demand for or you could make other products with.
Your food growing venture has to be efficient, cost effective and have zero waste, this can only be done by making a plan and sticking to it but also allowing for mishaps and disasters. It is better to produce far too much food than you need as long as that excess food is put back into other food production like animals so reducing the amount of bought in animal food, it is pointless to dump or compost excess food. So the keeping of animals is important for ensuring that your fruit and vegetable growing plan is efficient and has zero waste, or the trading of this excess food which can be used as animal feed to someone who can provide you with meat.
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If you are growing your own food for yourself or to sell and it gets wasted through lack of sales or excess production, what is the point if you are causing more food to be thrown away than what you would normally be doing if buying from a supermarket, or causing more energy to be used in your little venture than what would be used in a more efficient operation?
Fruit Growing Costs:
Besides the initial seed costs or tree costs of your fruit bushes and plants, there are many other costs involved such as the costs of your polytunnel, your tools, your wheel barrow, bamboo canes, wooden stakes, string etc etc. All these costs have to be included and divided over the time that they will last to renewal or repair and that price added on to the “True” or “Real” cost of your fruit.
If you are producing for yourself then this at least gives an insight to what this fruit growing venture is actually costing you. If you intend to barter or sell your fruit produce then these figures are essential so that you know you aren’t giving your fruit away or trading at a loss.
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