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ihavereturned's avatar

Does anyone have experience growing their own food?

Asked by ihavereturned (704points) 1 month ago

I’ve been curious about this for a while and would like to finally grow some food in my backyard. Mainly because it would make natural food much more affordable, and I think the hobby would raise my mood.

Does anyone have experience with growing their own food? I would like to get started on this new project. Thanks.

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16 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m not going to give you the answer you want. I have grown my own food in a garden, and in my opinion it is not worth the effort. If you do it for fun, Ok, but there is no savings in money over the time it takes and a lot of hard work goes into it.

ihavereturned's avatar

@YARNLADY What food did you grow? What part took the most work?

I’m thinking about growing some beans, potatos, maybe some hemp meal.

RabidWolf's avatar

We had a garden as well as our hogs. Mom would can the veggies or bag and freeze them. Come the Winter we had food. Mom had a SAM’s card and we’d go and buy staples in bulk and things like toilet paper and paper towels. Bad weather would hit, and we were always set.

canidmajor's avatar

I do a container veggie garden every summer, I do it because I enjoy it, and I often have enough to freeze for later. I do beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beets, oregano, basil, mint, and scallions. I might add onions this year, if I can find seed onions.

Look online for gardening sites, you’ll get better advice there than here, as it is different for different growing regions. If nurseries are open later this spring, you might do well with starts rather than starting from seed.

Have some fun with this, it is very satisfying as a hobby, but frustrating if you are trying to do a subsistence garden on the first try.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have a small vegetable garden. (12’x12’)
I usually grow a few types of tomatoes,yellow squash, zucchini, chamomile & garlic but have grown peppers, beans, spinach, lettuce and popsicles.
Herbs I grow inside .I will be starting seeds inside this week as I like them to be about 2 months old when I put them in.
You can pick up a cheap test to see if you need to amend your soil.There is a lot of information out there to help.
A friend likes this site.

canidmajor's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille My seed order should be here any minute (Baker Creek) and I can’t wait to start!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@canidmajor – I know what you mean! My veggie garden might be smaller this year but I will be starting a boatload of dahlias inside.
Are you growing anything unusual?

canidmajor's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I do fun variations on standard things. I grow purple beans, because they’re easier to see in all of the green, bonus…they taste better! And I do odd heirloom tomatoes, the flavors are incredible, the black ones, the yellow ones, the pink ones.
And I feel wildly competent and accomplished when Ieat what I’ve grown. :-)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@canidmajor I like the purple beans too.Yellow wax beans are my favorite though. Bunnies ate mine to the ground the last time I grew them.
I like the oddball tomatoes too.I’d like to find a black grape tomato. I’ve seen black cherry tomatoes but I bet they’re too juicy.
My sister’s garden is huge. She goes out there every day in summer and makes herself a salad.:)

gondwanalon's avatar

I just have bad experience growing food. Tall trees surround our property rob my garden of needed sun light.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

For many years I’ve only grown basil. I grow a boatload and make pesto. It isn’t much food.

For a substantial food source, I’ve long thought about a potato tower. After googling around a bit for ideas, I like this guide for simplicity and it looks like they get good results:
Easiest Potato Growing Method Ever!

YARNLADY's avatar

I tried growing lettuce, carrots, beans and tomatoes. The hardest part was preparing the plot for planting. The bugs and gophers got most of the lettuce and carrots, but we had plenty of beans and tomatoes.
I now have an orange tree which gives hundreds of delicious, juicy oranges every year with watering once or twice a week, and we have to prop up the branches once in awhile.

KNOWITALL's avatar

We grow tomatoes, cucumbers and a few other things but what we love most are the heirloom asparagus and huge garlic cloves we have everywhere. We also love pumpkins for homemade pies in fall. I still have half a basket of garlic from last year, so once it gets going, it’s a great investment if you love it like we do. If you decide to do cucumbers, message me for home pickeling recipes minus the pressure cooker.

I suggest you try to find some old homesteads in your area and look closely around to see if you find the old gardens, and take starts from that instead of seeds.

seawulf575's avatar

To make it worth while, you need to have a big enough plot to produce enough variety of food for you and your family to eat on. You also need the right climate for growing what you want to grow. Some things do better in cooler climes than in warmer and vice versa. Also, if you have geese, put a big fence around your garden. This is experience talking. I didn’t put up a fence and lost all my broccoli to the little thieves. I did kill the leader and all the rest got the hint, but it didn’t get me my broccoli back.

RocketGuy's avatar

We have potatoes in the backyard due to overbuying potatoes and forgetting to cook them before they sprouted. They grow at maybe ⅓ the rate that we need potatoes, so we usually have to buy from the store and only harvest a few times a year. They taste like potatoes, but they have much more varied sizes than from the store.

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