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Why you should Grow your own Vegetables

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Posted in Container Gardening, Experts, General, Seasonal, Seeds, Summer, Vegetables & Edibles

Besides the sheer enjoyment of growing something, there are many reasons why you should grow your own vegetables

You can grow only what YOU like

It may seem obvious but I'll say it anyway, if you don't like brussel sprouts, don't grow brussel sprouts.

I love salad so I grow many types of lettuce (Buttercrunch being my favourite). Paul LOVES tomatoes and we have a huge variety of tomatoes growing in my garden. I don't eat super spicy hot peppers but I have a few friends that think 'the hotter the better' so ... I took that challenge on and grew Carolina Reaper, Ghost, Ring of Fire, Scorpion and made a hot sauce for them. My one friend said he could 'feel the heat in his ears'. He was smiling at the time so I took that as a good sign.

Growing your own vegetables is a good way to get your family eating more veggies. Simply ask them for one favourite veg. They can help you plant it, care for it and eat it!

Bragging Rights!

Whether you want to grow the hottest pepper, the biggest tomato, or the longest zucchini now is your chance! 

I was impressed with the bounty of vegetables I harvested from my garden last year. The biggest 'haul' I had was from my one jalapeno plant. 298 peppers from one single plant! After I ate my fill of bacon wrapped jalapenos I was on the hunt for a way to preserve my jalapenos. I made jalapeno jelly (not as spicy as one would think). It goes perfectly with lamp and pork. Even after making jelly I still had many jalapenos so I left them whole, gave them a quick wash and froze them. Last January I pulled a bag  out of the freezer and made more jelly - my family couldn't tell the difference between jelly made from fresh or frozen peppers.

The Jalapeno  Jelly Recipe can be found here.

Cayenne Peppers

Jalapeno Peppers

Green Peppers

Help control your grocery bill

Most vegetables can be canned, preserved, frozen, or dehydrated which helps you avoid buying veggies at the grocery store. Dehydrators come in all shapes and sizes and start at approximately $65 for a small one. I dehydrated so many tomatoes, tossed them into freezer bags then used them throughout the winter in quiches and pasta sauce. I've also used my dehydrator to dry herbs; thyme, rosemary, basil and even chocolate mint (I use that to make tea).

This year I planted 25 celery plants from one pot at $3.99. That's .16 per celery bunch. That's saving money. Celery can be blanched and put in the freezer to use in a mirepoix.

... and while we're talking about control ... 

YOU have complete control over how you are fertilizing your garden. I put up with a few bugs here and there so that I don't have to use sprays or insecticides. I use Acti-sol Hen Manure which is approved for organic production and made up entirely of 100% dehydrated (not in  my dehdrator lol) and granulated hen manure.

No ethylene-filled chambers necessary to force-ripen my tomatoes! I let them ripen on the vine and pick them as needed. 

peppers beside dehydrator

dehydrated tomatoes

frozen celery

Share with others

More than likely your garden will provide a bountiful harvest that you can share with your family, friends and neighbours. I brought a bowl of freshly picked yellow bush beans to a party once and my friends ate them like candy. 

Sneak some Zucchini onto your Neighbour's Porch day is August 8th. Yes, it's a real thing and if you've ever grown zucchini you'll know why! Besides eating zucchini fresh, sauteed or spiralized you can also bake zucchini. Try this delicious Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe.


Grow something cool!

Did you know luffas grow on vines? I was under the illusion that they were a magical, mystical thing that came from the sea! 

This year I hope to see papayas on the Papaya trees I started from seed.


Take advantage of our long growing season

You don't need acres of land to grow your own vegetables. Start small and fill a few containers with soil and small transplants. You'll soon become addicted to the extraordinary TASTE of food that you can grow in your own backyard or on your own patio.

I had FRESH vegetables well into the fall. This harvest of swiss chard, jalapenos, green, yellow and red peppers was picked on October 8th.

And while I'm on the topic of FRESH, frankly it is unbelievable how long produce lasts when it is grown at home. After I've picked lettuce I wash it, put it through my lettuce spinner, wrap it in a paper towel and put it in a ziploc bag. It will easily last for 3 - 4 weeks. 

harvest on october 8th

Satisfaction that comes from a job well done

I think my smile says it all :) 


Here is the evolution of my new raised vegetable gardening beds

Raised garden beds solve 3 problems;

  1. weeds are almost non-existent
  2. by back doesn't hurt
  3. I have somewhere to put my coffee while I'm working

Yes there is an initial investment in building the raised beds but you can quickly make that back by the savings on your grocery bill. As an alternative, large containers placed on an old table or cement blocks will solve the first 2 problems above.

Not sure where to start? Contact us, we'd be happy to help!

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