Feeding your family natural, healthy food can be a stressful thought if you are on a budget. Just looking around a grocery store in the “organic” section can be depressing when one zucchini is almost 4 dollars. How does one get around all the pesticides when there is just so much money to go around?
The simple answer is to grow your own garden. For me, this was a bit of a difficult task because we live in an apartment. I was determined to grow natural, healthy food that can be canned to help us though the winter, further stretching our food budget. I had two things going for me: a balcony and a community garden available to the residents here where I live.
For twenty dollars, I was given a 3×8 raised bed to plant whatever I wanted in. I chose to plant 4 tomato plants, 2 cucumber plants, 2 pepper plants, bok choy and watermelon. I know that sounds like a lot, but the watermelon are a smaller version that a friend picked up for me at a local Amish produce auction.
I have not planted any flowers. Nothing against flowers, but I wanted to spend all of my time planting food that would benefit my family.
Please excuse the diapers. We proudly air our laundry around here :). It grew from this picture…
To that. See that blue pot? There is also a red one next to it. Those are melons growing! I added a trellis to the pots and am growing them up! As the melons begin to grow, I will make a “hammock” out of nylon to keep each melon supported as they grow. The smaller pots are various herbs. I have strawberries growing in the big stone planter. Towards the back is a tomato plant. That Topsy Turvey tree? Found it at a discount store for $5.99. Three different tomato plants are growing in that baby :).
Here is my bed in the community garden. It is actually a bit bushier now, since we have had 16 straight days of rain here in Ohio, but it is too muddy to get into right now to take another picture yet.
I can’t wait to start canning and freezing all this yummy goodness! Anybody can have natural food for their family. You just have to look around and get creative. You can even start with just a few pots and a windowsill if you are afraid to try.
Did you plant anything this year? How are you trying to stretch your family’s food budget?