Wednesday, June 13, 2007

grow your food

Given our new, poorer existence, I promised myself I would try to grow a small vegetable patch to supplement our produce supply and reduce grocery spending for at least one month (likely August). I've wanted to do this for some time, but haven't been able to make it a habit, which seems to be the key.

Coincidentally, we received a $25 gift certificate to a local greenhouse, so I decided to dedicate all of it to seedling vegetable plants. Starting your own plants from seed is definitely the most cost effective way to garden, but since I know next to nothing about gardening I thought it would be smart to start with some healthy plants grown under expert care.

As is, the space I have set aside for vegetables isn't much, but if this goes well, I'd like to expand the operation and include a wider variety of plants and a more graduated harvest. Rather than have too many vegetables in August, I've heard it's possible to plant different things at times, which results in a more steady supply of produce over a longer period.

Anyhoo, here's what I decided to plant:

(2) "beefmaster" tomato
(2) japanese eggplant
(6) sweet banana pepper
(1) hot red chile
(1) butternut squash
(1) rosemary
(1) mint
(1) basil

In addition to the new plants, I also have an existing chive patch and a small head of rhubarb. And I intended to have some lettuces, but the greenhouse didn't have any. Maybe I'll find some elsewhere... I also should mention that I tried to plant things that tend to be expensive at the grocery store - I'd rather not waste time with potatoes, onions, etc. since they usually cost less than $2 per pound.

Like I said before, it's not much, but I'm hoping the crop will help with a few meals, and, more importantly, inspire me to crank it up next spring. I'll keep adding pictures and updates as things progress, as well as some recipes from the resulting meals. So far so good. In fact, my red chile plant just sprouted a few tiny pepper/bud things (they come out of the flowers)...


ann said...

ooh, how exciting! i'm struggling to even keep my mint plant watered and alive (so i can keep myself in a steady supply of mint-and-lemon iced tea).

missed seeing this blog on vox, but i've posted you in my typepad blogroll. i too am on a tight budget (saving money so i can move to spain in october) and it's nice to read about someone else's thrifty setbacks and triumphs.

Housekeepers said...

Thanks, ann. Where can I read your blog?

ann said... - personal blog (i.e., writing about things that are generally not of interest to people who don't know me ;)