A while back I found myself pacing around the produce section at my local grocery store. I found it very hard to believe how much they were asking for fruits and vegetables. I remember not so long ago, when produce was the cheap part of grocery shopping. Now, it seems as though you could go broke just buying enough fruit to last your family through the week.
So, I set out on a journey cut this expense down as much as possible. My final conclusion was to grow some of this stuff myself. I mean, what better way is there, really? Now, not only do I spend a whole lot less at the grocery store, but I know what I'm getting. I can guarantee that there are no pesticides or anything like that, because I don't use them.
I bought a small greenhouse. One of the ones with the peat moss pellets and a clear plastic dome. Simple, but effective! These things are amazing for getting your garden off to a strong start. I also bought a grow light from Walmart, as I intend on keeping this herb garden right in the kitchen on a big piece of open counter space that never gets used. Anyways, I decided to start with herbs. We do a lot of cooking around my house, and we love our herbs and spices. So I picked a handful of the stuff that we use the most, which included oregano, parsley, cilantro, basil, etc. Then I got to work.
I planted a handful of each type of plant. Within just a few days we started to see a lot of the pellets sprouting. After a while I ended up buying a bunch of Styrofoam cups to transplant them over. This is just to give them a little more room to root and such. This is where I'm at right now with these. In a few days I'm going to transplant them all into a long wide tray type planter. At that point, I will update this post with pictures of what I've got going on.
After a while of watching how well these herbs were growing, I decided to move on to something else. I went and grabbed some tomato, habanero pepper, and California wonder pepper seeds. I bought a replacement pack for the greenhouse, which is pretty much just the peat moss pellets. You just take them out of the box and place them in the little slots in the greenhouse base. I planted about 12 of each plant. Within a few days, they began to sprout too. So now, I'm going to be looking into trying to transplant those within the next day or two so they have plenty of room to grow.
After I get those transplanted, I am going to move on to something else. Probably lettuce, cucumbers, etc. I might even order a little baby apple tree online and toss that somewhere out in the backyard. With the little bit of work that I've already done, I'm already looking at saving about $20 a week. Once I expand, and begin to grow more herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables, i'll be looking at saving a lot more. Heck, maybe in the long run I'll end up selling some of this stuff at the local farmers market, because I tend to go over board and I'm sure I'll end up growing way more than we can use.
Long story short, if you're like me, and you can't see spending $50 a week for something that grows from the dirt and you can do for yourself, then growing a small garden is definitely in your best interest. Not only will you save money, but you know what your getting, and to top it all off, it's a very rewarding experience.