If you want to grow your own food and don't know where to start:
Just start small and don't over-think it.
Look for the sunniest spot in your yard and designate a spot for your vegetable garden.
Cover your little garden with cardboard, secure the edges down, so it won't curl up when the cardboard dries out.
Wet the carboard, plant and mulch.
While your little garden patch is growing, you can research and plan the garden of your dreams.
What is wrong with store-bought food?
Our store bought food is suppose to be safe for human consumption. However, sometimes our food is recalled for not being safe, so homegrown is still the best. Grocery store produce lacks flavour, because most of the times they are picked green and shipped to grocery stores all over the country. I grow most of my food, but I still buy fresh fruit and sometimes tasteless produce during the winter months.
Cannot have a garden, but want one:
This is a hard one.
However, container gardening, came to my rescue, years ago. Luckily I had a sunny window where I grew a few things that I liked.
I bought everything that grew as a bush and viny crops like cucumbers and peas, I used a tomato cage so they were able to vine up with occasionally pinching the tops to stop them growing too long.
I harvested the bottom leaves and left the rest to grow. As my plants stopped producing, I started new ones. I also grew trays of nutritious and tasty microgreens.
How to grow - Microgreens:
I used leftover seeds that were still viable.
( To check if my seeds were still any good; I sprayed a piece of paper towel with water, sprinkled some seeds, folded the paper towel, then put the paper towel in a plastic bag. I put the zipped-up bag with seeds by the window. Waited to see if any of my seeds germinated. If they grew, my seeds were good for microgreens.
How to start - MicroGreens:
I just filled a tray full of soil, tapped it down a little bit, watered it, sprinkled my left-over seeds over it, tapped the seeds down again and watched it grow.
Microgreens have the most nutrition after the first set of leaves. ( seed leaves )
I didn't get a lot of food, but I had enough to snack on and have a few small salads.
Gardening and health:
Gardening is very healthy, peaceful and grounding for me.
Most of the time gardening even comes with free VitaminD.
However, early spring aches and pains does remind me what I should have done during the winter months.
If you go to Youtube you'll find lots of videos for back, arms and leg pain.
In my case it's all over body pain during the first couple of weeks of early spring. A hot bath or shower helps and I'm usually feeling almost normal by the next morning. The best would have been if I did some type of low impact exercise during the winter. Even though I like Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, Weight Lifting; you know how it is. However, at the moment, the pantry and the freezer is full of my nutritional bounty and there's always tomorrow for exercising. :)
Growing Food indoors under lights
I didn't have much success with this, because I had to constantly re-position my growing lights.
What I have success with, is growing seedling with shop lights during the winter. Nothing fancy, just shop lights. Growing seedlings by the window its January, it's just too cold. With a wire metal shelves from Costo I can attach my growing lights and move them as I need them. LED growing lights are on my " to buy" list, because they're more energy efficient, but for now I use what I have.
Winter food supply:
Winter food storage is the key for me.
Sometimes some foods can be stored as is; like garlic, potatoes, squash, herbs and onions. While others will take a bit more work.
Garlic, herbs and onions can be tied up and hung to dry in a cool dry place and used as needed.
Potatoes and squashes;
I just dry them out on a metal shelf in a cool room.
I mostly freeze, dehydrate and hot water-bath can my food for the winter months.
Being that homegrown preserved foods are still the highest in nutrition that you can get next to organic fresh produce, it's worth the extra time that it takes to grow and preserve.
Someday I would like to buy an electric pressure canner, but for now my hot water-bath canner will have to do.
Happy Growing and Preserving!
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