Cutting The Cost of Eating Healthy By Growing Your Own

By beadmom Latest Reply 2009-08-20 13:53:44 -0500
Started 2009-08-19 13:43:38 -0500

I see many people mentioning in these tough times that they cannot afford to eat healthy because of the cost. After raising 7 kids and always taking in strays (people and pets) I understand this only too well and have found some help in utilizing my resources to grow my own food, especially veggies. For the price of a couple trips to the Farmer’s Market you can set yourself up with container gardens that will provide you with fruit and veggies year round.

We have run the gamut of raising our own beef (I never had the heart to kill the chickens) and making our own cheese from our goats milk but that requires some land, or a friend with some land, and sometimes far more physical ability than many people who have a host of medical problems including diabetes. I have several friends who are wheelchair bound. Their container gardens are up on stands to allow easy care and harvesting. I use containers year round because I can move them around and try to keep the deer from harvesting before I do and they are just easier to manage. If something goes wrong you only have a small area affected.

Growing your own veggies can be done even in an apartment, providing you with great inexpensive food all year long. There is also the added benefit of watching things grow by your own hand. It’s FUN!

A host of vegetables can be grown in container gardens in very small areas. Lettuce, peppers (all kinds), tomatoes, cucumbers and the like. It is really great to decide you want a salad and know you can go to the porch and provide all the goodies. Here are a couple articles with some great ideas.

I find my containers at yard sales and thrift stores for very little money. I have vast herb gardens in mine as I find that fresh herbs make food taste so much better and I can leave off the sauces and salt. I use lavender as an herb. It makes a great addition to lemonade and sugar-free chocolate lavender pudding is wonderful. Lavender is also hated by mosquitoes so I have GIANT pots at my front door next to the orange mint.

You are not limited to vegetables when container gardening. Many fruits lend themselves to containers. This site has great info on fruit possibilities. I had not considered pineapple until I researched this. Pretty nifty!

Columnar apple trees are great for limited space and produce well. Since apples are my mainstay snack I have a lot of apple trees. Most of my apple trees are grafted 4 in 1’s so they self-pollinate. (You need two varieties of apples or a pear tree to cross-pollinate.) I like the fact that if I don’t heavy cull the apples stay smaller and snack appropriate.

Winter will not shut off your harvest if you have space indoors or a protected area you can utilize. I have a Meyer Lemon tree that cannot tolerate temperatures under 40 degrees so it becomes a large houseplant as soon as the weather turns. I use grow lights in the winter and then in the spring when we are still knee deep in snow I start my seedlings. My house looks like I have opened a nursery (or I am doing something illegal).

All in all for a diabetic I am finding much more control for both my diet and my pocketbook as well as a boost to my mental health to grow my own food.
Please chime in with your experience and ideas!


3 replies

Harlen 2009-08-20 13:53:44 -0500 Report

not where I live now but when I move back down to Ga I will have my garden
And yes you can save a lot of cash just doing it your self good luck all

Anonymous 2009-08-19 23:34:56 -0500 Report

You are doing what I dream of doing. I grew up where the topsoil was the richest anywhere in the world and we had fresh fruits and vegetables (Concord grapes, tomatoes, rhubarb, asparagus, string beans, squash, watermelon, cherries, plums, carrots, onions, chives, peaches, pears, spinach, swiss chard, potatoes, apples, pumpkins, sweet corn, beets, strawberries, etc., etc). I was a farmer's kid at a time when kids were expected to provide "slave" labor in the fields (and hated that), but loved eating all that good food. Anybody remember those tomatoes eaten out of hand, slightly dusty, warm from the sun while standing in the hot field, tomato juice dripping down your chin? I am so tired of the cardboard, mealy, tasteless items sold in produce stores where I live now. I have to wait until my hubby is finished with some remodeling but then I swear I am going to start some container gardening. In the meantime I am living vicariously through anyone who is currently growing REAL FOOD!!! Someday soon I hope to have the bounty of my own harvest that I can share with my neighbors.

Antique-Dave 2009-08-19 20:01:51 -0500 Report

I loved having chickens around, my wife hated it, but anyways, I was in the hen house one day looking for dinner, when the one I wanted walked by I reached down grabbed it by the neck and gave it a quick twist, all nice and clean.

Every chicken in the hen house, about 2 dozen all stopped at the same time looked at me and did not make a noise, dead silence…

I started to say what are you looking at? they all squawked and flew straight up, felt like I was in an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

We also put in a garden, bigger this year then last and will be bigger yet next year, we can, freeze, dry, it all depends on your priorities, I don't have a snowmobile or an ATV just a troybilt horse.

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