AS the cost of tomatoes continues to soar it won’t affect keen vegie gardener Andrew Saunders and his family.
Mr Saunders has installed a greenhouse this year and his annual crop of tomatoes, is several centimetres high.
“I have worked in the vegetable garden for a few years now and it is really something I enjoy doing in my spare time,” Mr Saunders said.
“By building the greenhouse it helps things along much quicker and extends the season,” he said.
Although he doesn’t necessarily grow summer vegetables to save money, Mr Saunders says there are definite financial benefits for families.
“I think we would save between $20 and $40 a week from the family budget depending on what I’ve planted,” he said.
“We use a lot of basil in our cooking and we plant out herbs as well, which we use all the time.
With snow peas and rocket lettuces part of the planting along with tomatoes the garden will reap rewards at a time when current tomato prices in Orange and other places have reached as high as $10.99 per kilo.
The shortages and subsequent high prices are being attributed to the cold and wet conditions in Queensland which provides a large number of tomatoes to New South Wales.
Another keen gardener Mark Logan said a combination of growing summer vegetables and keeping chickens for laying could ease the pressure on the family budget.
“I started a garden when I was about 10 and living in a flat with my family.
“I would go downstairs to plant in a small garden and I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said.
Mr Logan said in his observations the trend to plant a vegie garden is growing in younger age groups.
“I think more people are becoming conscious of the difference it can make,” he said.
Like Mr Saunders family, Mr Logan said planting herbs is also a money saver.
“You can dry them and bag them and they can be used year-round,” he said.
Mr Logan said the growing trend to create a vegetable garden is helped along by easy access to advice on the internet.
“People just get on there and can gather so much information,” he said.