Grow your own food, cut your grocery bill: 4 tips

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Carla Dearing – Sum180 Founder 4 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #935 Reply

    If saving money is a priority, then consider cutting your grocery bill by growing your own food. It’s easier than it sounds.

    Why might a non-gardener consider starting a fruit or vegetable garden?

    • Aside from the superior taste of fresh produce and the health benefits of having it readily accessible, it’s also quite likely that your grocery bill will shrink as you begin to stock your pantry with from your backyard.
    • A packet of seeds can cost less than a dollar.
    • Save seeds from the best producers and you can use them the following year.
    • Preserve your produce and you’ll have it to enjoy long after the growing season has passed.

    I myself have never grown a fruit or vegetable garden, so I admit, to me, the prospect feels a little intimidating. But my friends who are only slightly more experienced gardeners assure me there’s really nothing to it.

    Here are some of their suggestions for beginners:

    1. Start with fast-growing greens. Not quite instant gratification, but close: baby greens are ready to enjoy within a month after planting. If you leave inch-tall stubs when you harvest, you may even get several more rounds.

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    2. Choose foolproof crops. Tomatoes are famously easy to grow, and cherry tomatoes are among the easiest tomatoes of all. Plus, they are prolific producers. Other fail-proof crops to try: herbs such as basil, rosemary, and thyme.

    3. Harvest regularly. Harvest regularly; it encourages new growth. Don’t hesitate to enjoy the fruit of your labors. Snip herbs and dry for later, then hang in bunches indoors. They can be attractive in your kitchen as well as tasty!

    4. Consider container gardening. You don’t need a large backyard to start a fruit or vegetable garden, just a few containers on a deck or balcony will do. Bonus: containers make it easy to move plants around to maximize sun exposure as needed.

    Do you grow vegetables or fruit at home? Any suggestions?

    #1008 Reply

    An herb garden is a good choice also. Some plants will come back every year. Cilantro reseeds itself each year, so if you get a start from a friend, there is no need to buy another plant next year.

    We have a small collection of herbs, and the oregano comes back every year, and the sage does too.

    We buy a basil plant or two every spring. It’s easy to grow and a much cheaper way to make pesto than buying it in stores. If you are really ambitious, you can buy several plants and make enough pesto to freeze. There is nothing like good pesto in the middle of January.

    #1011 Reply

    Love freezing pesto. My mom told me she puts the pesto in an ice cube tray before freezing. Then you can take just one or two cubes out and drop them in your soup or thaw them for a single use.

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