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Money in the bank

(article, Culinate staff)

Compared to the cheap calories of processed food, buying fresh, good-quality, seasonal produce is usually no bargain. Which is why, in part, so many Americans stretching their grocery dollars don't get enough fresh fruits and vegetables — and why, in part, so many Americans have turned to back-yard farming. 

As Rob Baedeker recently wrote on SF Gate, growing your own food can be even more difficult and costly than buying it at the store, But some people are good enough at it that up to 75 percent of their diet comes straight from their back yard, deck, or balcony. 

Roger Doiron, the founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, told Baedeker that he saved a serious chunk of change by becoming a serious gardener:

bq. In 2008, he and his wife kept meticulous records of the food that came out of their 1,600-square-foot garden in Maine, and then compared it with how much that same produce would have cost at a conventional grocery store, at the farmers' market, and at Whole Foods. Subtracting their costs, Doiron found that his family of five saved about $2,000 during the year by growing their own produce.

No chump change, that.