3.27.2009

Frugal Fridays-Dirt Cheap Eating + Some Cleaning

I grow a LOT of our food. I enjoy it. And it's cheap too. As in frugal. Where else can you buy all the Bok Choy you might ever eat in a summer for $1.89? Or basil? Have you bought enough basil to make pesto lately? Yeah, it's not cheap but I just bought 4 different kinds to grow this summer for 10 bucks. A while back I ordered all of the onions we are going to grow for about 50 bucks. Growing your own food can be a great way to say money and doing it organically means you get(at least) triple benefits :
1)cheap organics of course + no money spent of fertilizer
2) healthy for you
3)healthy for the earth
I'm sure the list can go on and on but I can't.


What? you say you don't garden? Well, why not start small with an herb garden in a container? Small, easy to maintain and delish results. Or a salad container garden. Tomatoes can grow just about anywhere outside, OK except here we need special varieties or a greenhouse. But you get my drift, there are many options for all people.

No experience at all? Seek out your local Cooperative Extension office, they usually offer free gardening classes and composting classes among many other services. They wealth and breadth of their knowledge is amazing. And get this they are paid, highly schooledprofessionals employed by land grant universities (a few examples? Cornell and Purdue!) to HELP YOU FOR FREE. Seriously they are there to spread the wealth of knowledge from land grant universities. They can tell what kind of bug you just found, where to plant a garden, why your compost isn't heating up all for FREE. It's their job so before you go out to your local yokel MEGA BuyAlot Boxopoly check out this free trained resource near you. They are in ALL 50 states and they are there for the express purpose of helping people like you and me. You can also look for their Master Gardeners who usually run springhotlines to answer questions about gardens. Master Gardeners are trained as extensions of the extension office so more people benefit from the huge amount of research that these universities do. Even if the university is no where near you they all have many branches throughout the state.

I started some plants the other night, in less than 48 hours I had Bok Choy and lettuce up and reaching for the sky. Yes, you do need to buy some initial pots and flats and some soil but those are small investments that can, for the most part, be used again and again. Something don't need to be purchased and this is a great time to stretch your recycling mind. I use old yogurt cupscut in strips as plant markers and dish soap bottles (rinsed out really well) for gentle watering of new seedlings.

Growing your own food can really be empowering, I love to go out in the cool evenings and walk around my gardens thinking I did this and it's all mine. Actually it's not though because my kids have gardens and my chickens make the compost and my husband tills and we all harvest. But still, in my mind, it's all my creation.


recycled plant markers

dirt cheap eating starts here


newly planted flats and my watering jug

Still working on the kitchen, little bit #3 seems better but we'll have to wait and see.

10 comments:

  1. Great post.. I grew up w/ a mum who gardened every summer... I used grow my treaures, but health has stopped me the last few years! I miss it sooo soo much.. This summer I plan on having a big fat garden to post about... I am excited to see yours in full bloom!

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  2. My mom always started a HUGE HUGE vegetable garden each year on Mother's Day. Sadly, we just don't have the room in our little suburban plot. Last year I did have 6 pots full of herbs, so I hope to start that again this year.

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  3. I tried a little gardening last year, but it didn't go so well. I'm determined to do more this year -- which includes tilling the area before I plant. We're not quite to that point yet with our weather here, but I'm definitely gardening. I love the idea of using the yogurt containers are markers!

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  4. I want to grow fresh herbs SOOOO badly. Basil at the very least ...

    Problem is, we have no yard (apartment) and no direct sunlight from our balcony.

    Any idea how I could grow basil anyway?

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  5. Very cool post! Good job on all the gardening - I'm jealous!

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  6. If you saw the plant on top of my fridge you would put a ban on my attempt to green thumb it.

    Thanks so much for visiting me on my SITS day!

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  7. I've got a literal black thumb. I've got a plant in my house that's been alive for 3 years... I'm not sure how the hell that is. It'd should've been dead LONG ago. It's one of those vine plants that can be beaten to death and still thrive. Lord knows it has.

    We don't have the place for a garden but when we did Stefan LOVED it. Vegetables taste the best when you grow them yourself!

    Thanks for checking out Chic Cherub! Good Luck in my Contest!!!

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  8. Seed starting is always so exciting!! I forgo starting anything this year since we're moving soon but I can't wait to get gardening.

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  9. I really, really want to do this. Thank you for the encouragement!

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  10. I'm having my very first garden this year and I'm SO EXCITED! I read the book Square Foot Gardening and it really opened my eyes. Did you know that if you only have a 4x4 foot container garden you can have: 12 heads of lettuce, 16 carrots, 9 bunches of spinach, 32 radishes, 16 scallions, 16 beets plus 4 bunches of beet greens, 5 pounds of sugar snap peas, 9 turnips, 8 bunches of swiss chard, 1 head of cabbage, 4 heads of romaine, 1 head of cauliflower, 1 head of broccoli, and 16 small round carrots. All in one growing season! Holy smokes that's a lot of food that can come out of such a small space!

    Needless to say, I'm totally stoked to get started!

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