I woke up with this idea for a blog post, receiving the following comment (and the unsigned anonymous comment that I deleted because it was unsigned asking pretty much the same thing) convinced me it was a good topic.
I can not wrap my brain around gardening here in Mexico – The veggies and fruits are so good here and inexpensive for the most part – it just doesn’t inspire an effort to grow your own.
Being from California, I am not all that impressed with the quality or variety of vegetables available here in Yucatán,. When we went to Chiapas I was stunned by the variety of vegetables and beans available. Huge cauliflowers, colourful beans, and berries. Here you can buy two types of tomatoes, either a paste type or a round one. Most of the vendors buy their produce at the centro de abastos (google translates this as supply center, I think of it as the wholesale market ). Costco has cherry tomatoes and sweet little grape tomatoes but I don’t do my grocery shopping there as a rule.
As for the price, yes, if you buy in season and what the locals eat, it is much cheaper than NOB produce.
All that aside, I just plain like to grow stuff. I like the taste of vine ripened tomatoes. When I stopped having a vegetable garden, La Primera complained to me that store bought tomatoes” taste like dirt”. I never asked her how she knew what dirt tasted like, because I understood the sentiment.
My goal is to eat more vegetables and salads, I cannot imagine a better way than growing them myself. While I like the carrots here, I bought seeds for red carrots, something you don’t find in the marketplace.
I’ve read where the home gardener doesn’t really save any money. I’m sure you have read about the $64 Tomato (yes, that is dollars not pesos!), and the guy whose book I cannot remember, but he tried to farm in New York City without having a clue of what he was doing. Since my resources are limited, so is my liability. I am a simple gardener, I save seed, I compost and it works for me. Buying the original seeds does cost, but it’s an investment in health and well being. It’s all part of who I am, another outlet for creativity.
I garden because I like it, same reason I do crafts, cook and blog.