Growing vegetables saves you time and money at the busiest time of year
November 28, 2016
The lead up to Christmas can get a little crazy. Everyone wants to prepare for the big day, finalise the year, get the house ready for visitors, catch up with friends, attend end of year celebrations. It really can get out of hand. It is possible to save time by reducing trips to the shops, avoiding the overcrowded car parks, queues and other frantic shoppers. All you need to do is simply head outside and harvest the fresh ingredients you have on hand in your family vegetable. This activity is enjoyable and relaxing at the end of the day. You can grab what you need, fresh, full of flavour and nutrients and create a meal around what you have available. I find it incredibly satisfying to sit at the meal table watching your family enjoying the meal I’ve created from the bits and pieces I’ve grown and collected from the garden each night. Our harvests vary in size across the year but are significant across summer, resulting in a huge time saving. Across the remainder of the year I collect ingredients for our family meals, even if it is just one or two items.
This post is part of a monthly series called the Garden Share Collective. On the last Monday of each month a group of garden lovers share their productive garden. You can join us by linking your post below or at Rosehips and Rhubarb. Each month we have a theme, this month it is harvest. You can find the theme and chat about all things gardening on our Facebook page
How much time do you spend running to the shops after realising you are missing an ingredient for dinner? How many trips per week?
If you grow your own fresh meal ingredients you can avoid these last minute dashes to the shops, and generally reduce your reliance on buying vegetables each week. Our garden harvests have steadily increased over the past five years as I have increased the amount of vegetables we grow. The more I grow the more I want to grow but it is not necessary to have a large garden to experience the benefits of growing and having fresh ingredients on hand from your garden. These posts listed below outline how much we grow and how much we save as a result:
My garden is a little wild right now in all the wrong places. The herbs and greens are beginning to go to seed, the beneficial flowers are glorious and falling over with their weight. The tomatoes and summer plants are ridiculously small. I took a look at some pics from the same time last year and there is a significant difference in the stage of development. Last year the tomatoes were at least double the size. In Victoria it has been cold and wet, we had a fire on Saturday night…it feels like summer is not coming this year and the plants to date are confirming it.
This is a sample of what my garden is looking like at right now.
Right now I am struggling to get the seedlings of both cucumber and zucchini to start to grow as almost all of the seeds I’ve raised and planted have been eaten by snails or slugs. I have added some store purchased seedlings of these two plants to the garden in desperation while I raise more seeds. I’m a little worried now that summer is impending (supposedly) and all summer seedlings should now be becoming established. In reality, they will catch up. Each year the weather, pests or other circumstances beyond our control present a challenge and each year it works itself out. Sometimes the season is short and sweet and sometimes the produce continues to produce well into the next season. I have only just harvested and removed the last of our winter plants this weekend. That is the nature of gardening, there are no guarantees and the “rules” do not always work. Each year some plants do better than other things.
We have just finished harvesting the last of the winter plants:
How is your garden progressing at the end of spring? Is it as behind “schedule” as mine is?
Join the Garden Share Collective and tell us about your garden harvests.
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