Strangely addicted to gardening

My newest way to save money in the kitchen? Grow it yourself! Since we bought our house last fall, we have been discovering all kinds of goodies in our yard. When we first moved in, the previous owners left behind a full harvest of carrots and beets for us. We discovered we have a pear tree which gives off a hefty harvest, and the pears are SO yummy! Then we realized we have a blueberry bush … that actually produces. Now there are a few blackberry vines trickling through. My hubby is all about destroying them, but I am (not so) secretly hoping they will survive, because I love fresh blackberries! Our tomatoes are producing, and it looks like we have about 10 bell peppers starting to grow. Also hoping for some corn and more lettuce.

I have always joked that I have a black thumb. But I have discovered this odd new love of gardening since buying our own home. I think there’s some special sense of pride when it’s your own and when you grow it with your own hands. My flowers and vegetables are all thriving this year! I actually planted flower bulbs last winter … and they actually grew flowers this spring! I know it makes me a total geek, but it was like I had accomplished climbing Mt. Everest or something when those tulips actually bloomed! Apparently, my gardening gene was just being repressed during all those years of apartment living. And now it is starting to thrive and grow … and I love it!

I am so excited to be able to put food on my family’s table in the coming months. Food that I didn’t go and pay retail for at the grocery store. It is such a money saver to grow it yourself. Now, I cheat with the tomatoes and refuse to plant seeds. I buy starter plants, because growing from seed has just never worked for me. But it’s still cheaper! I am planning to learn how to can this year, so I can stash away some of those pears for winter time. If the corn works out, I will freeze a bunch for later. Our blueberry plant seems to be producing a LOT, so I’d like to freeze some of them as well. Since we are on a much healthier eating plan now, all this “fresh” produce is going to save us a lot of money in the coming months. So I’m challenging myself to see how much I can grow, produce and store away this year … and then I’m going to try and double that next year!

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