I'm very happy to report that I've officially begun harvesting some of my summer vegetables. The lettuce has one more good cutting before it's all gone, but seemingly over night the other plants have really started to produce. Today we pulled some baby carrots, a handful of grape tomatoes, and one summer squash.
Here's an economic look at gardening. My one summer squash was probably about 1 1/2 pounds. Even with the sale price of summer squash hitting last year's rock bottom price, I've already paid for the entire packet of seeds I bought with a friend. There's already another sizeable squash growing, as well as two zucchinis which cost me 80 cents a pack last year. So I'll pay nothing for them...
The four grape tomato plants were 25 cents each, so all I need to do is make it up to 1/4 pint to make up that cost...really about two small handfuls.
The cucumbers are really a stroke of money luck. Two years ago, I bought one pack of cucumber seeds for less than a dollar. Last year and this year, the plants have self-seeded (perhaps because I miss some old cucumbers under the vine?). They are very hardy and productive. I can't even tell you how many shopping bagfuls of cucumbers we've eaten over the two previous years! We have about five that will be ready soon again this year.
Mostly we just like gardening for the fun of it and the taste of the produce, but it can really pay off if you put in the work.