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Grow Your Own Food at Home & Save

As well as beautifying your yard, balcony or window sill, there are loads of benefits to growing your own food at home – even if it’s something as simple as a herb garden.

Why do it?

Because it's probably a lot easier than you think, but also because growing your own food is cheaper than buying it – you could save $3 a bunch of parsley with one pot in the backyard that grows all year round. 

Gardening is relaxing and gets you active, and is good for fussy eaters – kids who grow foods are more likely to try new fruit and vegetables. Home-grown food also tastes better, because it can be picked at peak ripeness.

You don’t need a farm!

Many edible plants grow happily in small pots, cans or boxes, and herbs can even grow on your windowsill. All you need to get started is:

  • a container with holes in the bottom for drainage
  • soil or potting mix
  • seeds or seedlings
  • a sunny spot
  • patience.

Start with a salad

Salad greens, cherry tomatoes, snow peas and herbs are some the quickest and easiest things to grow and a great place to start. Fresh herbs are also quite expensive to buy at the supermarket, so a few herb pots will pay for themselves in no time. 

A simple herb garden idea - start by planting your favourites, like coriander and basil, and then broaden your horizons - fennel or lemongrass. When considering what to plant, you will also need to think about how much room you have and how much sun your plants or herbs will get. Tomatoes, for example, go great up a trellis in a sunny spot. 

Other vegetables, like pumpkin or leeks, are better off in the ground. Hit up your nearest garden shop or nursery – they'll be able to tell you how to grow a herb garden, what plants will best suit your living space, and what you need to get started.

Herb garden tips

  • Most plants like plenty of sun and shelter from the wind.
  • Water regularly (daily) watering and fertilise only if and when needed
  • Pinch off the flowers on your herbs to keep them from making new leaves.
  • Eating straight out of the garden is tempting, but it’s best to wash all your produce before eating it – especially if you have pets.

Cooking with herbs

Get creative and start experimenting with herbs – there's one to suit every meal:

  • Basil goes great in salads< and Italian dishes, and is an essential ingredient in pesto or salsa verde
  • Mint makes a refreshing addition to a glass of sparkling water in summer, or add it to a green tea for a winter warmer.
  • Parsley is not just for garnishes – use it in sauces, marinades and sandwiches, or add it fresh to salads.
  • Rosemary is a classic match with roast lamb – why not try it with a fruity twist?

With some basic bits and a little green thumb action you can get growing and enjoy tastier fresh food at a fraction of the cost. 

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