For over a year, I've been updating my Eat What You Grow blog, encouraging and hopefully inspiring readers to try cooking with locally and seasonally grown produce. I live in an apartment in Seattle, so I don't have a lot of space to grow my own food. However, because I love to cook as well as save money, I am getting very interested in urban farming and the possibilities and opportunities growing your own food in the city allows. Just this morning I visited the West Seattle Farmer's market and bought a few herbs starts. On my little south facing deck, I am going to try and grow a wide assortment of herbs and, if I am lucky, persuade my neighbors to let me use their small garden space to grow some vegetables right outside my front door.
Grocery shopping today at Safeway I passed by the herb section, each herb nicely packed in to its tiny plastic container, neatly arranged one after another. They were $3 each! And while this doesn't seem like a lot of money, to me it is because I use so many different herbs in my cooking. In fact, there is no better way, no tastier way, to cook than by using a few fresh herbs. The plant starts I bought at the farmers market were also $3 each. Unlike using them through after one trip to the grocery store, I am hoping they will last me throughout the summer. I have three containers right now on my deck, with hopes of adding more. In my three small containers I have thyme, chevril, chives, dill, cilantro, lemon balm, and nasturtiums (which are peppery, you can eat their leaves and their flowers). Next, I would like to get a container going for lettuce as well as try growing something vertically to take advantage of even more deck space!
There is much you can do at your home to eat fresh food and save money. I would recommend starting an herb garden today. Plant your herbs in containers or in a section of your garden that is close to where you walk, so you can observe your plants growing making it easier to ensure they stay watered and also making harvesting very simple. It is a fact, digging in the dirt makes people happier. If you are interested in urban farming, like I am, I would recommend reading this book, Backyard Homestead.