5 Tips to Decide What Crops are Worth the Time and Money - Melissa K. Norris

5 Tips to Decide What Crops are Worth the Time and Money

By Melissa Norris | Frugal Living

Apr 01

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase. Regardless, I only link to products we use on our homestead or believe in.

Today’s episode I pull back the curtain on homesteading and share what we’ve been struggling with this past month and how we came to our decision when pressed for time and resources.

It’s easy to romanticize homesteading, because there is a lot of cool things to be gained from raising your own food and doing it yourself, but there’s also a struggle for time and money.

When it came to deciding if we were going to raise our own meat chickens again this year, I really didn’t want to do it.

I already feel behind on everything and I know that adding in 15 chicks that have to be attended to do every day is one more thing on my plate. I was seriously tempted to skip it this year.

You may be struggling with deciding on what to raise on your homestead this year.

Even homesteaders can’t do it all, we have to choose wisely what we’re investing our time and money in.

How do you decide what you have time and money for?

    1. Determine how much it costs.  Keep track of expenses. Know how much it costs for you seed, grow lights, and other expenses. When raising animals, what is the cost of the pen, fencing, the animal itself, and the feed.
    2. Know how much time it requires. If it’s your first time, check from friends or others who have experience to see what the realistic time frame or commitment is. I know it takes 10 weeks to raise meat chickens, with approximately 10 minutes in the morning and evening, sans butchering day.
    3. Can you purchase the same item at the store. I can’t find the variety of tomatoes we grow at the stores. We grow an heirloom paste tomato San Marzano Lungo #2 and I’ve never found either the plant or the tomato at any of our stores.
    4. Calculate the costs to purchase it from the store. This is where the real decision making comes in. The cost at the store for organic pasture raised whole birds about the same size as our birds is about $20 per bird. I know we can raise ours (see tip 1 above) for about $4 to $6, including the cost of the bird.
      With our jalapeno peppers, I know we only need about 4 plants, and I can purchase those locally for fairly inexpensive. By purchasing them, I don’t need to invest in a seed heating mat or the electricity to run it.

      How to Grow Your Garden in the Living Room

      Our Grow Light Setup

  1. Take into account the other benefits. It’s important to remember the rewards beyond money. We work as a family to raise our own food and it teaches my kids important skill sets, confidence, education, and a tie to their food source, as well as family bonding time. Not to mention, home grown, especially vegetables and fruits, have more nutrition when allowed to fully mature and ripen on the vine.

By using the above criteria, we determined to raise the meat birds this year but to purchase our jalapeno pepper starts from the store.


The exact grow light I use to start all of our tomatoes

Planting charts in my book–> The Made-from-Scratch Life

Organic potting soil I use w/ compost to avoid fungus, dampening off disease and insects

Seed heating mats to increase germination and the growth of warm weather plants

Coming Soon, Get on the List

We’ll be having an encore presentation to our Live (online) FREE Raising A Years Worth of Food Masterclass soon, to get the message for registration and to get notifications for our free Thursday morning live training’s, shoot us a message on FB here. 


About the Author

Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.

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