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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wholesome Wednesday: Growing Your Own

I debated about whether I should write about gardening for my Wholesome Wednesday post, or rather my Frugal Friday post. Granted, gardening is very frugal, but that isn't the only reason that I do it, so Wholesome Wednesday won out this time.

There are really five reasons that I decided to grow my own food. They are listed in order of importance.

#1. Homegrown vegetables are as fresh as they come. They don't sit in a market for days (or weeks) and are picked at their peak freshness. Nothing beats a tomato directly from the garden or a cucumber that is still warm from the sun.

#2. It is organic. While not "certified organic", I buy the seeds/plants (and try to stick with heirloom plants whenever possible), I plant them in a raised garden bed that we built with untreated lumber, in soil that we use our own compost to enrich, and we use no chemicals on our plants. As close to nature as you can get! They also are not shipped any distance, which protects more of the earth's resources.

#3. The freshest and most natural vegetables are also the cheapest. I can get a basket full of radishes fresh from the garden for less than it would cost to buy one bag of dried and cracked radishes from the store. All my vegetables cost mere pennies to produce. It isn't just good for the body but also the budget.

#4. It is a family activity. The kids help pick out what we will grow and help plant. Becca and hubby help me weed and everyone helps harvest and eat it all...which leads me to...

#5. Since my children are involved with the planning, planting, and whole process of the garden, they want to eat the products of their hard work. They have tried everything from the garden - from turnips to yellow squash to kohlrabi and green peppers. They eat and actually like what they grow.

I will have future posts on how we built a raised garden bed, what plants we decide on, composting, and more. I think almost anyone can plant at least something; whether it be a small windowsill herb garden, to a container of tomatoes on a patio, to a ginormous garden which could produce all the vegetables and fruit one would need. Start small and think big!

Living in the upper midwest we have a late start to the growing season (not planting tomatoes or cucumbers until May) but there are a few things that I can start early. I already sowed some radish seeds in the garden as they are cold hardy plants and will probably get some turnips and onions in this week sometime. I snapped a picture of something that excited me in the garden this past week...
My rhubarb is emerging! You know it is a sure sign of spring when you catch the rhubarb shoots peeking out of the ground. I have four rhubarb plants and can't wait to make breads, pies, and stash a bunch of it in the freezer.

So what are your plans this spring? Do you garden? What do you plant? Do you go big or stay small?


  1. We plant a fairly large garden. Big enough for our family plus my parents and brother plus usually a little extra for other friends and family (as we don't have a freezer yet to store the extra in)
    My kids also love to help garden. They look forward to going out to pick the garden every day. The youngest eats just about everything straight out of the garden-I still have to fight with the oldest to eat his veggies :/
    I love all the fresh, practically free veggies. Hard work costs me nothing ;)

  2. My dh will have the veggie garden at his work but the kids and I will go picking on the weekends maybe that will get them to eat the stuff. Not quite the same as what you do at home so we shall see.



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