Loving the Garden!! Saving Money Too!!

One of the great things my parents did
when I was growing up was planting a garden!

I didn't appreciate way back then, but now I know what a job it was and why they did it!

I learned a lot helping and watching mom and dad in the garden. Dad always took care of the tilling and most of the planting, we all took care of the weeding and harvesting, and mom was the one in charge of the canning and freezing of the harvest.

Mom & Dad always let us help them... Actually I don't know if they let us or if it was expected. I say "let" because I now know that having a child involved can make things a bit more time consuming :)

When I was dating my husband, he always thought I was strange because I said I loved tomatoes, but I would always pick them off of things when we went out. I had to explain to him that they just weren't the same as home... he would eventually come to understand what I meant.

Hubby and I have had several gardens since we were married, the first a small one behind the duplex we were renting.. mainly tomatoes, the next a larger one behind our first home, and now an even bigger one at the back our of property.

We've slowly moved up in size and veggie varieties along the way. The last several years I taken to canning and freezing what I think I'll need for the winter months. I still buy some veggies as we can't grow everything ourselves, but we always plant our favorites!

Homegrown veggies taste so much better than store bought because they are picked vine ripe. You have to try them to understand this. Don't have a garden yourself? The next best thing is usually the roadside fruit/veggie stands selling seasonal local produce. You will sometimes pay less than grocery prices for better quality too.

I grew up loving to get my hands dirty, but also tasting the bountiful harvest. There's not much better than a ripe red tomato fresh from the garden, or a garden fresh BLT! YUMMY! I've mustered up the courage to sometimes eat those pink fleshy rounds they call tomatoes when we go out, but now Hubby won't eat them.

Canning and freezing veggies allows us to enjoy them all year long. I try to put away enough to get us through the winter until the next harvest comes. This saves us money and makes the garden worth the effort! I've actually come to enjoy canning... it's great to see the volume of veggies I can put away and know that they are better for my family. Plus... I can say, "I did that" when we load our arms full to store away. :)

Tips for you...

If you've never planted veggies before...
Start with one or two things and see how it goes. Keep up with weeds along the way, and be patient. Veggies seem like they'll never be ready, but then when they are they'll be plentiful.

You can plant in veggies in containers too!
If you don't have room for a tilled area in the backyard, or if you just want a few plants. Just about anything that produces it's crop above the soil can be grown in containers. If you're looking for tomatoes, they now have varieties just for container gardening. Containers need watered daily most of the summer. Be sure you have plenty of room for their root system too!

Pair tomatoes with containers of marigolds for a great color combo. Plus, an added bonus... insects don't like marigolds so they help protect your precious plants from insects.

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