Grow what you eat

Do you know if the foods that you are eating now a days are safe or free from chemicals and other substances that are being used on it? We couldn’t know unless we ask the vendors but not all of them know where it came from or how is it being produced.

We can usually buy organic foods in some specific places for example in a mall or in a certain market where all the vendors sell organic products but it is a bit expensive than those that are not organic. Sometimes do you dream of growing your own foods so that you can assure to your family that the foods that you are going to prepare are safe and organic? Well I dream of that too especially that I am a mom and I am aware that majority of the foods that we prepare are not 100% organic in a reason that it is cheaper that an organic one.   

One day I was thinking “can I grow my own food especially fruits and vegetables? Can I do gardening here on our little space here?” Then I do the research and I was amaze with what I found out. I can do the organic gardening in my little space here on the 2nd floor and by means of planting them on containers since we do not have a vacant lot or space here on the ground especially we are here on the urban area.

Here are some tips/tricks on how to start your organic/container gardening (these are from my experience only and with the help of some research on google and with the group that I am joining on Facebook about organic/container gardening which helps me a lot).

1. Reuse containers

Water containers used as a alternative pot for plants

If you are a mom of an infant, mostly we give them distilled water and it usually stored in big containers, keep those containers because that will be your alternative pot for your plants. You can also use gallon of ice creams and many more which you will not be using.

2. Finding a source of soil

Find a vacant lot near your area where you can get your garden soil but make sure to ask permission if there is an owner. If your area doesn’t have any source of soil you can just buy a sack of those maybe 1 sack just for a trial because you are just starting up.

3. Suitable plants to grow in your area

Do your research on what kind of fruit bearing plants and vegetables are easy to grow and don’t need high maintenance. For the reason that you are just starting to grow your own food. (For example I started with tomatoes, cayenne pepper, ginger and etc.)

4. Be resourceful

I used to buy these seeds because I can’t find a plant of it . They are the next in line to be planted.

Don’t buy seeds, if you can just get them on your vegetable and fruit waste that are not yet disposed. Just clean them by the use of water and let them air-dry. You can do additional research on how to store and use them. You can also ask for an extra plant from your neighbor or your close friend so that you will not have a hard time growing them. (Me I usually ask for it or I gave them in exchange for the plants that they don’t usually have but I buy seeds if they are not available here in our place so that I can have a plant of it.)

5. Studying how these plants grow

Study when the plants/seeds need to be put in the soil because they differ in weather. And how many times a week they need to be watered. Also there are organic fertilizers that you can use also for your plants which is available on households. (For me I use rice wash as a fertilizer to my plants since they are only few in my mini garden but it is much better if you use vermicast if you have the available sources.)

6. Plant one at a time

You can start making your garden soil, but before that you must research or watch YouTube on how are you going to make your garden soil. I cannot put here what are the components of a garden soil because we are not on the same area some of it may be available to our area but not in your place but if you search you can find different mixtures of garden soil that the components of it might be available on your area.

Here is my mini garden and I am planning to add just one plant at a time due to it is hard here to get the resources especially the soil and also if I have a vacant time due to mommy duties.

My cayenne pepper

For now I am only harvesting cayenne pepper, ginger, (oh by the way I have also herbs here) mint, rosemary, stevia and also the majority of my plants here are aloe Vera.

Rosemary, Stevia, Oregano and etc.
Just a portion of my aloe collection
Bunch of aloes that needs re-potting

I use aloe as a part of my skin care routine and I don’t need to buy different skin care products I just mix them on other resources here on our house like a DIY mask where you can find also in the internet, they are lots!

So that is it! I hope someday I could have a much bigger garden where I can grow more fruits and vegetables. It is not too late to start if you really want too. Preparing healthy foods is best thing you can give to your family.

By: Kate J. Drilon

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