Historically, we haven't been big gardeners. I know little/nothing about it, my wife might know less.
New place we moved into last fall has a little 4 foot by about 8 foot bed the previous owners had built up, but which had been mostly over grown with weeds.
Originally, we weren't planning on planting anything this year. Just too much going on to try to juggle...and the wife is historically bad at remembering to water plants.
But, I had to clean up the garden bed, so I figured what the heck. Bought up some plants from the hardware store, stuck 'em in the ground and have been taking care of them since. I think I spent about $30 on the plants - 3 tomato plants, jalapeno plants, a bell pepper plant or two, cilantro and a water melon because my 5 year old really wanted to grow a water melon.
Figured, worse case is that it's a learning experience.
Surprisingly, a month or so in, they aren't dead, and it looks like we'll at least get some nice produce from the tomato plants.
If I were doing this the 'survival' way, these would have been non-hybrid plants, sprouted from my own seeds. I won't be saving these seeds and re-planting them next summer. If the apocalypse rolls around, Lowe's won't be open to buy plants from, either.
Financially, with the amount of money/maintenance time going into the garden, I'm doubtful that it'll make much sense. Just figuring the $50 or so in 'parts'...that'd buy a lot of veggies at the supermarket.
But, the first-hand experience and mild amusement I'm getting out of it are valuable, too.
Yep, you can (and should) do it larger scale, cheaper and smarter than I am, and I'm sure many of you are. If this year doesn't turn into a total disaster, I'll do things a bit differently.
I'm sure many of you have some serious veggie gardens going on and years of experience under your belts. Got a picture of your veggie garden and a quick blurb - the how/what/why of what you're growing - that you'd like to share with the tribe? Shoot it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.