Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Grow Your Own Food!

With the financial crisis that the country is currently experiencing, one thing I'm urging friends and family to do is to consider growing some of their own food.

Not only can this defer food costs for you, but it will also get you outside to enjoy the beauty in our world without a constant barrage of bad news. (Can you tell I actually need that distraction the most right now! And with 10 degree weather I'm just not getting it)

Now I'm not telling you to go out and start a farm in your yard if you've never grow anything before. Start small. Buy a patio tomato and a pot of basil. If you've done that already find a spot in your yard you can grow some of your favorite herbs. (Herbs being just about the easiest thing you can grow.) Do you have a chain link fence, cover it with peas and beans.

DON'T SPEND A LOT OF MONEY. You don't need to get fancy here. As with any hobby there is the potential to get spendy pretty quickly and that would quickly negate any potential savings to you. Don't do that. If you don't feel like digging get some used containers from someone (trust me, if you know anyone who gardens, they have some plastic pots somewhere they aren't using.) Grow some lettuce. Grow Arugula. Grow something. Try something new. Even if you fail you'll have a greater sense of what the people who produce your food go through.

Learn a new skill. Except for seeds that I direct sow (peas, beans, lettuce, turnip,) I usually buy transplants rather than starting seeds inside. Tomorrow I'm starting Romanesco Broccoli and Onions. I hope to gain the experience to do more in the future. Anything you can do on the road to helping yourself is a bonus and will repay you in much more than the cost of your tomatoes.

If you really want to feel inspired (or intimadated!) head on over to The Little Homestead in The City for the story of a family of 4 who grow 6000lbs of food a year on their 1/10th of an acre city lot! Amazing!


Krista said...

I love my homemade Earth Boxes. I made them with totes I had around the house, so each one cost me less than $2. Even if you have to buy totes, they will be under $10.

I wish we would all get back to the Victory Garden mindset. I wonder how much worse it will have to get before people consider it?

Christine said...


I can't thank you enough for that link! I have been wanting some of those earth boxes myself and have not wanted to pay the price for them! I have some of those tubs around. I may even make one for my mom too!

I love the idea of the Victory Gardens and think it's an idea that is way overdue!

Krista said...

I thought I told you about my homemade Earth Boxes! LOVE them!!

Here is info about how to add the foil and fertilizer: http://www.earthbox.com/consumer/instructions.html

Organic fertilizer works great with them, by the way. :o)

Christine said...

So Cool! Thanks again!!! I don't remember hearing about them before this. Awesome!

Karley Ziegler Mott said...

I just saw a magazine at the library I hadn't read before: Mother Earth News. I borrowed the Feb/Mar issue this morning from the branch on E. Ridge (the Cooper Rd. may have it). There was a great article about an urban homesteader which reminded me of this post.

The story was really inspiring. Our side yard has a big, old tree and we have lots of shade. The grass only wants to grow in parts away from the tree and this article has inspired me to let the grass grow (it's fenced and not visible to anyone else), plant a ton of wildflower seeds and transplant our seeds that are in pots now once the danger of frost is over...

I want to see if I can do that, too :)

Christine said...

I've seen Mother Earth News before Karley but I'm not a regular reader. I'll have to check out that issue!

I think your idea sounds great! You may increase your chances of success by spreading a few bags of compost where you want to plant. If you want to obliterate the grass completely then I recommend a lasagna style garden which I will be happy to fill you in on . (perhaps I should write a blog post!)