The idea of growing your own food may seem impoverished or archaic, however that couldn’t be further from the truth. Hip and conscientious citizens have begun growing their own foods, primarily vegetables, like never before.
Why are people growing their own food? The reasons are simple. First, in case you haven’t noticed, the price of fresh vegetables now rivals fresh meats and cheeses as being the priciest part of your families meals. With the increasing pressure regarding undocumented labor in the USA, these prices are only likely to continue to increase. Another force driving folks to small scale farming is the preservatives and other chemicals used in the mass production of food. These additives may be linked to negative health effects and it’s clear that avoiding them is your best bet.
Now you know why you should try to grow your own food, but four questions still remain; what, where, when and how.
Before you insert your first seed into soil, there are some important prior planning considerations. What food to plant is key. It’s seems obvious, but planting what you and your family and friends like to eat is the way to go. All too often the eager first time farmer will plant an entire row of an exotic vegetable they have never heard of much less tried as they get caught up in the excitement. Stick to planting what your sure you’ll enjoy, and also only bother to plant what you can consume. There is nothing worse than letting fresh veggies go to waste.
Where to place your garden is another important consideration. Take into account the sun needs of your varieties when choosing a location, as well as the soil composition if your planting directly into the ground.
For many people, a ‘patio’ garden of vegetables growing in pots is a great way to get started. That way you separate your crops the the elements and natural predators as well as placing it in a spot that your sure to notice and pay attention to. A garden placed too far away may be just enough distraction to end in tragedy.
The timing of planting different varieties of vegetables is highly dependent on your geographic location. Some cold or extremely hot regions will need more careful planning then in the more temperate areas of the country where you can grow most crops year round.
Hopefully this article will give you the knowledge, or at least the inspiration, to plan and plant some fresh food of your own for you and your family to enjoy.
Once your gardening, don’t forget to harvest your own seeds for next years crops, or if your getting started, you can try to collect seeds from the vegetables you buy at the grocery store before cooking them. You can even request these free seeds to help you get started:
- Free seeds from The Dinner Garden – Backlogged up to a year due to overwhelming requests! Also check out their free seeds by state.
- Request free seeds from the USDA ARS program.
- Get involved with America The Beautiful fund and receive free seeds.
- Sign up for the TomatoHeirlooms.com newsletter and receive a free basil seed pack.