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The Cost of Food - Page 8

post #141 of 257
The first year we moved into our house (4 yrs ago), we started up a 3000 sq ft garden w/our neighbors. They quickly lost interest, so now we do it ourselves. It is ALOT of work, but soooo worth it. We recently took in a pg friend and her 2 kids, and we could not afford to feed us all this summer if it weren't for what we expect our garden to yield. It was the best decision we ever made, starting that garden. Each year the ground has more organic matter worked into it (we have many times spent a Saturday as a family, raking out someone else's (we just went around and asked ppl!) barn so we could put the poo in our garden. We decided to spend the day doing that so that it would pay off in the future, instead of watching a movie, goofing off, etc...We have lost plants to freezes, been disappointed after a huge aphid attack, etc....We learn more and more each year, and each year it gets better for us. And I have to say, I'm proud that my kids will grow up knowing how to help themselves.

We offered our new neighbors (who are complaining about not having enough money for food/gas) a place to help garden in exchange for produce. It's the story of the Little Red Hen so far. They will get nothing out of our garden because they would rather hang out and goof off instead of working. Hopefully they'll learn a lesson after our food bill goes down to $200/month for a family of 10!

Freecycle is a great place to find gardening tools, seeds, dirt, compost, etc....Wood for raised beds too!
post #142 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicky2 View Post
Freecycle is a great place to find gardening tools, seeds, dirt, compost, etc....Wood for raised beds too!
or craigslist!
post #143 of 257
I think if you want to garden but are low on money NOW is the time to start...just not for this year.Craigslist always has free rock or bricks or other things to use for raised bed gardens.Get creative.Then start adding cardboard and leaves and kitchen veggie waste.It will break down into good soil just not for this season.Check out permaculture books.Research.
post #144 of 257
For those of you who are looking for HOW to garden or WHAT went wrong with my garden check out your local County Extension Agent. They can test your soil, teach you, provide seeds, provide teachers, provide mentors, check the seals on your canner, tell you what kinds of things grow best in your area, etc. They are a FABOULOUS resource that only 4-H people really know much about. Here is a link to one: http://toolecountymt.gov/ and another one: http://king.wsu.edu/

Also, lots of retired people would love to help you. So you can ask a neigbor or another church member or someone at the local nursery and can usually find some help. We also have a master gardener program that is free, but requires a bunch of volunteer hours that you could find help from.
post #145 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by hattifattener View Post
Yeah. Unfortunately true for us. We have to foodstamp it while DH is in school, and foodstamps are definitely NOT accepted by local cheese artisans and farmer's markets.
That's too bad! Our farmers markets do take foodstamps which I think it wonderful.
post #146 of 257
One can use food stamps to buy seeds thou
post #147 of 257
Oooh, yes, the county extension office ROCKS!!!!!!!!! We call them all the time! Once they knew of an elderly man who would come get the bee swarm on our tree (it was Fall and I was afraid they'd die while scouting for a new home) when no one else would. We got a great homeschool lesson out of it!
post #148 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
There are seeds in the veggies at the grocery store. If you are buying them anyways, why not just save the seeds?
You won't always get reliable plants from the seeds in produce-aisle veggies. A good deal of them a genetically modified determinate seeds (AKA: evil montsanto has altered them so that the seeds wont grow plants the following year, so that farmers each year have to buy more seeds)
post #149 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knittin' in the Shade View Post
You won't always get reliable plants from the seeds in produce-aisle veggies. A good deal of them a genetically modified determinate seeds (AKA: evil montsanto has altered them so that the seeds wont grow plants the following year, so that farmers each year have to buy more seeds)

I learned this lesson the hard way after growing HUGE vines of pumpkins that would flower, but never set fruit. I later learned that the offspring seeds we had saved were genetically unable to reproduce. So, we got a whole lot of vines for the compost pile and a deeper repect for heirloom seeds.
post #150 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knittin' in the Shade View Post
You won't always get reliable plants from the seeds in produce-aisle veggies. A good deal of them a genetically modified determinate seeds (AKA: evil montsanto has altered them so that the seeds wont grow plants the following year, so that farmers each year have to buy more seeds)
: nice.

I hear you. I didnt realize they were gm stuff other than soy and corn.

post #151 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knittin' in the Shade View Post
You won't always get reliable plants from the seeds in produce-aisle veggies. A good deal of them a genetically modified determinate seeds (AKA: evil montsanto has altered them so that the seeds wont grow plants the following year, so that farmers each year have to buy more seeds)
Is there anyway of telling which foods are affected by this? what about seeds that you purchase to grow yourself?
post #152 of 257
You can look for "heirloom" foods at farmers markets and places like that. By definition, "heirloom" fruits and vegies haven't been too tampered with. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
post #153 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by swimswamswum View Post
You can look for "heirloom" foods at farmers markets and places like that. By definition, "heirloom" fruits and vegies haven't been too tampered with. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
no farmer's market here but 6 weeks out the year, anywhere else?
post #154 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
: nice.

I hear you. I didnt realize they were gm stuff other than soy and corn.

There are a lot that is GMO besides soy, corn and wheat. I stick to organic from the farmers market and non-hybrid fruits and veggies. I have noticed more GMO fruit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeca View Post
Is there anyway of telling which foods are affected by this? what about seeds that you purchase to grow yourself?

I have only purchased organic seeds and beans which is still pretty cost effective. Since I don’t know how do grow anything in the ground, its mostly for sprouting which I can do.
post #155 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeca View Post
no farmer's market here but 6 weeks out the year, anywhere else?

Not sure if this is helpful, but I just found this though google.

http://www.heirloomseeds.com/

There are all non-hybrid and organic.
post #156 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeca View Post
no farmer's market here but 6 weeks out the year, anywhere else?
Our food co-op has them (again, this might not be helpful because many places are without co-ops).
post #157 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knittin' in the Shade View Post
You won't always get reliable plants from the seeds in produce-aisle veggies. A good deal of them a genetically modified determinate seeds (AKA: evil montsanto has altered them so that the seeds wont grow plants the following year, so that farmers each year have to buy more seeds)
It's not just genetic modification, though. Plenty of foods in the grocery store are the result of conventional breeding but still will not breed true. You can even have that problem in your own garden --- try planting your bell peppers next to your habaneros and then saving seed for next year

Hybrids are often larger, healthier, and set more fruit, but because they are the result of a cross between two very different parents, *their* seeds will not come true.
post #158 of 257
what about sprouts? does anyone grow their own sprouts? i heard you can do it in a jar. what kind of sprouts do you like best? i would think that sprouts would be an economical way to add to your diet and they are healthy.
post #159 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionessMom View Post
what about sprouts? does anyone grow their own sprouts? i heard you can do it in a jar. what kind of sprouts do you like best? i would think that sprouts would be an economical way to add to your diet and they are healthy.
We do sprouts - alfalfa, mung bean, fenugreek, radish. All kinds. We use jars with sprouting lids and one or two other systems that are a little more fool proof.
post #160 of 257
I like doing sprouts -- and they are pretty cheap -- but I've been wondering lately if they're ok to eat while I'm pregnant. I know the ones in the stores often have the warning that pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems should avoid them, but what about the ones I grow?
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