Sunday, 12 April 2009

Growing pains

Janet Street-Porter actually manages to make two good points in her Independent column today. First, she notes that for many households, the Lakeland catalogue of household wizardry is better than porn.  Second, she calls out the conventional wisdom that growing your own veg is cheaper than buying it. 

If you're a seasoned gardener, perhaps it is. But as a newbie, I figured that after factoring in the cost of seeds and soil and fertiliser and slug repellent and containers and whatever else, buying a bag of carrots at Tesco each week definitely seems cheaper than to trying to cultivate my own--and that's not even taking into account my ability to kill something as indomitable as a cactus. (They don't call me The Black Thumb for nothing.)

Surely I'm not the only cautious consumer out there who thinks this way. So why don't any gardening and home goods marketers post on their websites or in their catalogues a breakdown showing exactly how cost-effective growing your own can be compared with buying someone else's? (It can't be because growing your own isn't really cheaper, can it?) And then, to appeal to those who still aren't convinced--either of the worthiness of gardening or of their ability to garden--these marketers can cross-sell storage containers and other products that help us make our store-bought produce last longer.--SC

UPDATE: Snow Valley's Sarah Clelland called to my attention a recent marketing email from Lakeland that pretty much details what one needs to grow tomatoes, including advice, recipes, and £60 worth of product. Check out her blog post about the email at The Snow Patrol. 

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