What’s a seed worth?

I was shopping this afternoon and happened to look curiously at the Jap (Kent) pumpkin on display in the supermarket. Not that I wanted to buy any… our winter is pretty much taken care of in that department…

pumpkin shelf

… I was just curious to see how much it would have cost us to BUY the amount of sweet, easy-peeling, easy-cutting, quick-cooking yet long-keeping pumpkin that our one or two* vines quietly produced this long dry summer while they rambled around the citrus trees and kept the trees’ roots cool with their shade. 

It turns out that at the princely sum of $2.49 a kilo (no, we’re not talking organic pumpkin here), and with 15 pumpkins harvested from said vine/s at an average of 3.4 kg each, this stash would have cost $126.99 at the local supermarket.

The seeds from which they grew retail on average for $3.50 per packet. Even pretending that I had used the whole packet instead of just a few seeds, that would have been a 3,500% profit in just a few months. Yes, you read that right. Forget real estate. Suburban vegie gardens are the new real estate!

Even allowing for a bag of bought compost to build up the soil, and a full watering can of mains water every day over summer as if you needed that much ($2.42 buys you a thousand litres around here), my plumptious beauties would still cost under 22 cents a kilogram – less than 9% of the supermarket price – and they’d still be organic. And a kilogram of organic Jap pumpkin makes a mighty fine two litres of soup. Or about 80 pumpkin scones. Or a tray of scrumptious roast pumpkin for chunky salads, pizza toppings, etc. Oh, the possibilities…

And the really cool part? The next summer’s pumpkin seeds are FREE. 


* I started out by planting seeds in a seed tray and transplanted my best three into mini garden beds made with tree guards. One of these turned up its toes after a couple of weeks. The others grew into one another soon after, so I’m not sure whether the final rambling patch was one or two vines…

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