Growing Your Own Food

We all need to eat right? Why not at least supplement your diet with healthy homegrown fruits and veggies while reducing your grocery bill? How many of you have plants in your home or a flower garden in the yard? Why not use at least some of that space for growing edibles? My wife has a very green thumb when it comes to raising ornamentals both inside and out, but our gardening efforts have met with mixed results. This year, with better planning and execution, we hope will be more productive.

Gardens, raised beds, containers – yes, all of the above.

We built a new 8’ x 16’ raised bed last year that proved to be far more productive than our traditional garden spot as it was easier to care for – fewer weeds to pull and still accessible when the ground was wet. We plan on adding at least one more bed of the same size this year; one will be primarily melons while the other will be squash and cucumbers.  

Our container garden (52 buckets) was the most productive for us last year so we plan to expand that to at least 100 – crazy right? The great thing about container gardening is you don’t have to have good soil or even a lot of space; you can have a couple on your porch, deck or balcony. You can grow a tomato or two, or like us you can grow a whole crop of them. We primary grow tomatoes, blueberries and a variety of peppers in our buckets, but we did do some lettuce, kale and spinach all with some success. Note: buying that many buckets can get expensive, but sometimes you can get them from a local restaurant for free. The local donut shop I frequent sells them for $2 each and often times just gives them to me for free.

We have 3 other ‘traditional’ garden spots that we’ve been working for the last couple of years with mixed results. The soil is rocky and very acidic. We’ve been steadily working to improve the soil by adding organic material from our compost pile and spreading lime to balance out the Ph. Two of the spots will be primarily beans and peas while the other will be sweet corn; we’ve yet to have any success with corn, but try, try again.

Finally, we are attempting to grow strawberries in hanging baskets and blueberries, lettuce, kale and spinach in planters inside our home. Our past attempts at growing any kind of berries only led to a well fed bird population.

We hope you will share your gardening tips and tricks with us.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping.

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