Having your own garden and growing your very own greens and herbs is one of the greatest survival skills that anyone can possess. It will not only pay you dividends in terms of freshness but most especially when it comes to convenience. Money wise, it will also guarantee you savings by eating what you have grown and it will save you less trips to your favorite grocery store. In part, you will also be helping the overall energy savings in reduced fuel consumption and transportation costs of market items. Growing your very own herbs and veggies will also make sure that what you are consuming are one hundred percent fresh and safe.
Space is also not an issue. Even if you have limited space, growing your own food is still very much possible. All you need are containers and you can start your very own container garden. Just plant your vegetables and herbs in your containers and place them in your balcony or porch where it can have a good access to sunlight and water. If you want to be creative, you can combine your veggies and herbs in a single container. This will give you an attractive planting as well as edibles of different varieties. Doing container gardening will save you money because most of your favorite herbs and vegetables are just at your fingertips.
According to studies conducted by different pro-garden groups, the sales of seeds and plants are soaring and by investing in home gardening, huge paybacks can be achieved. The study also found out that an average family will just spend about $70 a year on a home garden that produces around $600 worth of vegetables and herbs.
The CEO of the seed giant Burpee, George Ball also calculated that homegrown green beans will yield $70 worth of crops for every $1 spent on seeds. A good example of this is the lowly potato. According to Mr. Ball, a potato will give you $5 worth of spuds for every dollar that you invest in seed.
For starters, spending for your home gardening tools will be more than spending for the seeds itself. But do not worry. Spending money for your gardening tools is just a onetime deal. The most common gardening tools that you will be needing in starting your home garden are your tools for tilling the soil, your watering system, and your garden fences to keep animals out.
While it is true that starting a home garden is not an easy task, and it may take some time before you can grow those perfect vegetables and herbs, the facts is, everything that is grown naturally and organically will yield a vastly superior produce compared to those that are bought in the supermarkets.
So if you want to save money and still have a great supply of your favorite vegetables, fruits, and herbs, home gardening is the answer. You can also save money by preserving your harvest for later use. There are many ways to store and preserve vegetables and herbs. Some of these are by canning, drying, and freezing.
Below are some varieties of home grown produce with maximum savings
Tomatoes are most popular home grown garden vegetable not only in America but also around the globe. A single tomato seed will yield more or less 10-25 kilograms of tomato harvest each planting season. A 1kg of tomato will save you more or less $4 that is about 9-12 cents per tomato.
Today, there is a lot of talk and publicity about heirloom tomatoes because of its old-fashioned and unbeatable taste and flavor. But what are these so called heirloom tomatoes?
Heirloom tomatoes are tomato varieties that have been passed from one generation to the next. It is 100% organic and it is more tasteful and flavorful than the regularly produced tomatoes in the gardens. Some of these heirloom tomato varieties are so rare that they are considered as a prized possession by some gardeners around the world.
There are 8 heirloom tomatoes which are considered to be the best and the most sought after heirloom tomatoes in the world. These are:
- Tomato ‘Beam’s Yellow Pear’– The “Beam’s Yellow Pear” is a tomato variety that dates back as early as the 1800’s. This small-fruit tomato with its long pear shape and golden yellow fruits has a sweet flavor and it perfect for snack. Plant this tomato variety and it will be ready for harvest in two and a half months.
- Tomato ‘Golden Jubilee’– In the early 1940’s, a tomato known as the Golden Jubilee was introduced. It instantly became one of the most sought after tomato variety because of its disease resistant properties, large size (3-inch wide), sweet juicy flavor, and golden yellow color that relaxes the eye of anyone who sees it. Plant this heirloom tomato now and you will be harvesting its delicious fruits in just 70 days.
- Tomato ‘Goldie’– If giant tomatoes are what you are after, then the Tomato Goldie is perfect for you. Three months is all it takes for this heirloom tomato to grow and mature and be ready for harvest. The fruits of this tomato variety can reach a pound or more and it is a perfect partner to the most delicious beefsteak recipes.
- Tomato ‘Wapsipinicon Peach’– With its sweet flavor and ivory like gold fruits, this heirloom tomato variety was introduced and grown during the 1800’s. Germinate the seeds indoors and then transplant in the garden. It will be ready for harvest in just 80 days.
- Tomato ‘Rosalita’– Sometimes it is mistaken for a grape because the resemblance of the tomato ‘Rosalita’ and the grape fruit is uncanny. Two months is all it takes for this heirloom tomato variety to grow and be ready for harvest.
- Tomato ‘Green Zebra’– Ranked as one of the best tasting heirloom tomatoes in the world, the Green Zebra’s fruits will take two and a half months to ripen and be ready for harvest. The fruits of this tomato variety have the size of a golf ball with golden color and green stripes around it.
- Tomato ‘Speckled Roman’– With its 6 inch long paste type red fruits, the specled roman tastes great and at the same time looks gorgeous. The fruits of this tomato variety will ripen and be ready for harvest in just 3 months.
- Tomato ‘Costoluto Genovese’– Do you love pasta? If yes, then, why not try growing some ‘Costoluto Genovese’. This tomato variety will give you a tomato fruit that is perfect in making the best tomato sauce ever. 78 days is all it takes until your tomato fruits are ready for plucking.
Squash does not produce as much as tomatoes. But when squash is in season, it can be very productive. Since squash is expensive, especially if it is out of season, it can be a money saver if it is grown in ones garden. Farmers and gardeners also love planting squash because it can be easily stored and it can last long even during winter.
Zucchini is perfect for container gardening because zucchini does not require a lot of space. A large container is enough for the job.
It will only take 2 months for lettuce to mature and be ready for harvest. For people who loves salad, lettuce is perfect and also a great money saver. Lettuce are best to be planted during late summer and should be placed in a shaded area. The highest leaf yielding type of lettuce, the Romaine can produce enough to make a salad for a family of four per picking. And in just about two weeks, the same lettuce plant will again be ready for harvest. If you plant lettuce in your garden, a row of 10 lettuce plants can produce enough lettuce for a salad recipe every night for as long as the growing season lasts.
During summer, a garden is not complete without growing cucumbers. A vine crop that can grow easily in the garden, cucumbers grow well during summer because this plant loves to be under the direct heat of the sun. All it needs is a garden with a fertile and moist soil
Cucumbers can also be grown using trellis. A single cucumber plant can give you 5-10 cucumbers. If you sow three cucumber plants using a four feet high trellis with a diameter of 18 inches , you can harvest about 30 cucumbers.
6. Specialty peppers
Specialty peppers such as poblano, jalapeño, serrano, Cubanelle, chili peppers, red bells, orange bells, and other specialty peppers can be expensive when you buy it in the grocery stores. So, the best way to save money and still have peppers at your disposal is to grow them in your gardens yourself. Peppers are best planted during the summer. A single pepper plant can produce up to 40 peppers.
In the market, herbs are expensive. But at home, herbs are easy to grow. So, having an herb garden at home can save you a lot of your hard earned cash. Examples of herbs that can be easily grown in containers are sage, rosemary, mint, thyme, chives, and basil. After harvesting your herbs, the best way to do is to store and preserve them for future use and knowing how to preserve these harvested herbs for longer shelf life will be the key in getting the most of your herb garden.
The post Survival Skills 101: Save Your Hard Earned Dollars By Growing Your Own Herbs & Veggies! appeared first on Emergency Preparedness Tips.
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