Sitting to dessert at friends’ home last summer, we commented on the amazing homegrown blueberries that topped the cake. Laughing, the husband of the pair said – yeah, and each one only cost about $3,000. Their garden is part of her catering business, on a new property they purchased, with a new watering system – so he was probably about right.
Like most gardeners, I try not to think about how much it actually costs to grow each carrot – especially since I seem to start from scratch each year. After the initial investment, I do think that growing you own food can provide a great deal of savings to your budget – but there are more important reasons to garden, of course.
In an effort to keep my hobby as inexpensive as possible, I’ve become a bit of a scavenger. Here are some of my favourite ways to grow food inexpensively, right from the grocery store.
- Pepper seeds. My pepper plants are grown from seeds that came from a store bought pepper. This is my first year trying it and I have had a lot of success so far . . . we’ll see if they fruit!
- Green Onions. This is my favourite frugal trick. I buy a bunch of organic green onions that have their roots still attached and simply plant them. As I need green onion, I simply take my scissors over and cut a bit. In the summer they grow outside, in the winter they grow on a window sill.
- Green Garlic. When garlic has been sitting on the counter for too long it starts to grow green shoots. You can plant the bulb, shoot end up, and it will grow green garlic. Similar to green onion, green garlic can be cut a bit at a time, as you need it. It makes a great addition to any recipe and has a milder flavour than garlic cloves do.
Do you have any favourites?
**Afterthought** The peppers did not fruit, however they stayed green and lush for a very very long time. I ended up cutting them down to the root in late November because I really had to pack up the balcony for the winter that was already here.
- Designing a Balcony Garden – Assessing Your Needs
- Growing Salad
- Feeding a Family from a Balcony Garden
- Garden Update July 2009