Grow Food for Your Family in Your Own Backyard
I’m a green-living girl, but the green thumb part has taken some work. While I absolutely love the idea of having plants around – and I’m a total foodie that loves fresh produce – I haven’t always been so skillful in the “keeping them alive” department. In fact, my family used to call me “Ms. Blue Thumb,” since everything I seemed to plant turned up lifeless within a matter of weeks.
So when I was asked to attempt the Ziploc® Fresh 180 challenge, “Grow Food for Your Family in Your Own Backyard,” I decided I was up for it. And now I can happily say that I have several plants that have survived and thrived. I’ve even taken on a small garden in a planter on my deck. There’s something so incredibly satisfying about growing your own produce. Everything tastes so much fresher – and it’s right there when you need it. Plus, it doesn’t cost a penny once your plants are off to the races.
There are so many reasons to grow your own greens:
- It’s safe. You can control what goes on your produce instead of buying produce that’s been sprayed, waxed and touched by who knows who.
- It’s affordable. For the price of seeds or plant starters, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor over and over again at a fraction of what you’d pay in the store. I love saving green.
- It’s convenient. Don’t feel like leaving your house to eat? Just head to your garden and pick your meal. Now that’s fast food!
- It’s therapeutic. Studies show that tending a garden is good for your mind, health and terrific for stress. People report being in a better mood after 30 minutes of gardening — and if you have kids, you know that any opportunity to relieve stress is much appreciated.
- It’s bonding. Remember what I said about the kids? A garden gives them an opportunity to nurture something that’s alive and gets them away from video games and excessive texting.
I started with a few different herbs and lettuces, and then added some heirloom tomatoes and zucchini. The next thing I knew, I was making ratatouille! I ended up with so many herbs and veggies that I started making sauces and freezing them in Ziploc® brand Double Guard® Freezer Bags and sharing them with friends and family. You wouldn’t believe how blown away they were to have fresh produce — and how proud I was to say that I grew it myself.
If you’re just learning how to flex your planting muscle, you can start with a simple green garden in a planter. This is something you can do even if you live in a place without a yard, like me. Take a large herb pot, good organic soil and plant a variety of culinary herbs, like rosemary, basil and dill, along with mixed leaf lettuces like a mesclun blend. You can plant these from seeds or a starter plant – although the seeds are usually a lot more affordable.
Another option is to use a tower garden, a planter that doesn’t require soil. You can place this on your patio or somewhere that gets plenty of sun. My friend who has one grows so much that it’s literally bursting with fresh stuff – perfect for juicing and salads.
There’s no time like the present to create your own garden and start growing your own food for your family. If I can do it – Ms. Blue Thumb — you definitely can, too. Just watch how quickly you start saving money and lowering your blood pressure (couldn’t we all use a little of that?). Do you accept the challenge?
Disclaimer: I was paid to develop this post and to provide related images for Ziploc®. As always, all opinions are my own.