Will victory gardens help us beat high food prices?


Ways to Garden
Don't want to garden alone? Try community gardening.
Don't want to garden alone? Try community gardening.
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For the money you'd spend buying a couple of loads of veggies at the grocery store, first timers can develop their own high-yield plots. One gardening Web site estimates start-up expenses for a garden at $225 [source: Veggie Gardening Tips]. However, that price tag includes tiller rental fees and a specific set of tools, which you may not need. Also, to spend less, grow your vegetable from seeds, or if buying a plant, select a smaller or medium-sized one.

If time and space are an obstacle for you, you have a number of other options. Community gardening, in particular, has gained popularity recently -- an estimated 10,000 are in operation in the U.S. [source: Urban Gardening Help]. This form of urban gardening transforms public spaces such as a field beside a school or in a neighborhood into a plot that many people tend to. A community garden could be a good place for gardening novices to start since you can get instruction from other volunteers. For more information on them, read How to Start a Community Garden.

If you live in an apartment or don't have a large yard, consider container gardening. As the name implies, you can grow different fruits and vegetable in almost any sizeable container, such as a trash can, wash bin or bucket. In one 15-gallon pot, you can grow two broccoli, one cucumber, one melon, one snap bean and oneĀ lima bean plant [source: Rosen]. Or you could use multiple pots and expand the variety. Container gardening also works well for themed crops. For instance, to make a pizza garden, combine roma tomato, bell pepper and oregano in one container [source: Rosen]. To learn more about container gardening, read What is container gardening?.

You can even bring your gardening indoors, if necessary. Citrus plants grow surprisingly well indoors in bright areas. Since the average varieties are large and can overwhelm a space, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden recommends choosing dwarf species. Familiar citrus fruits including mandarin oranges and Meyer lemons have a reputation for thriving inside [source: Brooklyn Botanic Garden]. Herbs such as basil, cilantro and sage are also simple and savory choices for indoor gardening.

To learn more about how to get your own victory garden going, visit the links below.

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Sources

  • Bentley, Amy. "Eating for Victory: Food Rationing and the Politics of Domesticity." University of Illinois Press. 1998. (May 22, 2008)http://books.google.com/books?id=InqSoenmQ0IC
  • Carey, Patricia. "Plan ahead: 5 gardening mistakes that cost you money." Good Housekeeping. March 2000. (May 22, 2008)
  • Davis, Mike. "Home-Front Ecology." Sierra Magazine. July/August 2007. (May 22, 2008)http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/200707/ecology.asp
  • Gavin, Robert. "Surging costs of groceries hit home." The Boston Globe. March 9, 2008. (May 22, 2008)http://www.boston.com/business/personalfinance/articles/2008/03/09/surging_costs_of_groceries_hit_home/?page=1
  • Gustin, Georgina. "Going green (thumb)." McClathy -- Tribune Business News. May 15, 2008. (May 22, 2008)
  • Iowa State University. "Tomatoes." May 2005. (May 22, 2008)http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM608.pdf
  • Little, Christy. "Lawrence experts offer tips for growing your own produce." McClathy -- Tribune Business News. Feb. 28, 2008. (May 22, 2008)
  • Marks, Alexandra and Jonsson, Patrick. "As food prices shoot up, so do backyard gardens." The Christian Science Monitor. May 15, 2008. (May 22, 2008)http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0516/p01s01-ussc.html
  • Rosen, Rick. "Container gardening: One-pot vegetable plots." McClathy -- Tribune Business News. May 8, 2008. (May 22, 2008)
  • Weishan, Michael. "The kitchen garden." Country Living. May 2002. (May 22, 2008)

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