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Growing Food

Have you ever grown your own food? I don't mean a pot of herbs on your windowsill, not to downplay herbs, but your own berries, stone fruit, grapes, salads and veggies?

If you have you know what I'm talking about: its the most satisfying feeling being able to feed yourself, without leaving your property. I'm talking about pounds of potatoes and carrots stored in baskets in your cold pantry, unlimited kale and lettuce leaves, so many tomatoes you can't eat them all you have to share with friends. This is true sustainability and probably one of the easiest things a person can do to contribute to a better world for ourselves, and most importantly, future generations.

Saving seeds and starting from scratch is the ultimate goal, but let's just get you started on the veggie growing train and suggest purchasing a few seedlings (young growth of seeds, with a stem and few first leaves) from your local nursery - just a few (don't bite off more than you can chew, literally) of your favourite vegetables.

Perhaps only one zucchini (anymore and you won't be able to give away all your zuccs), two tomato varieties - cherries and romas are popular, easy to grow and so tasty, you might not be bringing any back to your kitchen from the garden) - and some pea and bean seedlings and you are well on your way to a yummy veggie garden.

Before plonking them in a corner in your backyard, you will have to amend the soil with compost and mushroom or animal manure. The soil should end up crumbly and rich-looking. You will know what I mean when you compare a scoop of this amended soil, with a scoop of straight backyard dirt - it just looks and feels... richer.

Assuming the weather is passed all signs of frost and summer is only a few weeks away, you are ready to plant. But before you do, take into consideration the size the plants will become upon maturity. Peas and beans need trellises to keep them from dragging along the ground, and tomatoes and zucchinis take a lot of space, so plant them accordingly.

Once in the ground, consider these your other babies: you have your real babies, your fur babies and now you have your plant babies - they will end up being the easiest of all three types! Saying that, baby them: water regularly so the soil is moist, keep the competing weeds at bay and pick any nasty pests (more on that here) away from their tender buds.

Before you know it, you will be eating fresh vegetables like you have never tasted before!

#vegetables #gardening #organicfarming #sustainability

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