I'm hoping you can help me with my dilemma. It's very important to me and I'm just not sure what I should do, so read on if you will.
As you may know, we are currently renting. We do not have a large patio area and I'm not one hundred percent sure that I can put raised beds on it, but I'm going to check with the office. Yardley has a community garden not too far from here where I can get a plot, but the size is not guaranteed because it depends on how many people are interested. The plot costs anywhere from $15 - $25 and there's a refundable $10 deposit for cleaning up at the end of the year. I'd also have to put in 10 volunteer hours over the course of the summer (not a big deal) and attend three of the gardening workshops they offer (also not too big of a deal though I'd have kids in tow.)
So this is my problem: Is it economically worth it to "purchase" a plot in the community garden to grow some food or should I just grow some things here for free (assuming that I can)? If I add up the cost of the plot, plus the gas getting there (again, it's not far, but it will still add up), plus the cost of the seeds and other supplies, will I save that much money by gardening myself? I'm still unsure of what I want to grow as I have limited space here to keep things. I'd definitely like to do lettuce, maybe some pepper plants and a couple cucumber plants (which would have to grow on a trellis because of limited space no matter what), but I'm not sure what else. I can't do potatoes really because I have no where to store them. I was thinking about having one tomato plant since I'm the only one that eats them and I'd like to do some herbs too so I can dry them.
What should I do? Spend money on the community garden or spend money here, investing in a garden bed that could be used again?