Thursday, March 13, 2008


Spring is here, and now is the natural time to think about putting in a garden. Whether of flowers or vegetables, or a combination of the two, the gardening bug bites us many at this time of the year. I am no exception –by this point I have spring fever bad, and only the certainty that my tomatoes will surely be killed by a late frost if I put them out now is keeping them out of the ground.
With food prices spiraling out of sight and the prospect of famine looming on the horizon, now is the time to put in that food garden even if you’ve never grown anything before. Don’t try to grow a full size garden all at once because you will definitely bite off more than you can chew, but a small patch of veggies or a few containers are well within anyone’s capabilities. Among the easiest plants to grow are tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, and greens. These are almost (but not quite) foolproof. A couple of tomato or yellow squash plants will provide you with that vegetable for the whole season. And zucchini? You’ll be giving it away with just two plants. Don’t like zucchini? The nice thing about is that it doesn’t have much taste and it’s really good for you. So you can put it in many other dishes and no one will notice. I’ve even seen it put in chocolate chip cookies –and no one noticed! No, I’m not kidding.
Now, the argument can be made that it might just be cheaper to buy tomatoes over the summer. Perhaps. But a 40 lb bag of potting soil is still less than $2, pots are cheap if you look around (especially at yard sales and thrift stores), and most seedlings are $2 each, or less. So, assuming you paid a dollar for each of the pots and you grew two tomato plants, that’s only $8. Maybe you won’t buy $8 worth of tomatoes this year, but most families do, and you’re especially likely to if you buy organic or if the prices go up much more. But there’s are two other reasons to do this –to make sure you have tomatoes this year, and that you can grow them in the future if need be. This is about developing skills as much as anything. It takes 10 years for someone to become a master at growing food. With the problems going on in the world, I don’t know if any of us have ten years to become a master of anything. Oil is now at $110 a barrel. I don’t even want to think of what that’s going to do to the rest of the economy as it trickles through –particularly the supermarket. The best way to insure your food security is to be able to grow your own. To do that, start today.

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Blogger Desert Rat said...

Good advice. Down here in SW New Mexico we are ( hopefully) thru with late frosts and ready to go. I grow tomato plants for sale and keep a few for myown use, a little difficult right here because we have lots of old trees and little direct sunlight unless we plant in big 25 gallon pots and move them around. Excellent for growing greens though, and I plan to plant much more than usual of lettuce, kale etc. As to squash, the saying around here is you have to keep your car doors carefully locked to keep people from giving you some...

4/27/2008 5:25 PM  
Blogger Desert Rat said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/27/2008 5:25 PM  

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