May 22, 2012

Benefits of growing own food bountiful

A good way to reduce your food cost and enjoy delicious produce is to grow your own.

Some vegetables and herbs can be grown in small spaces or containers, making this a doable project for most.

If you have not already thought about growing your own food, it's not too late. If you are ready to get started right away, it is, in fact, a great time to begin your garden.


Both traditional gardens (in the ground) and containers work well for vegetables and herbs. You may be able to add some vegetables into an existing bed, or if you do not have a space ready, it's possible you could dig up a sunny section of lawn. If you are renting, check with your landlord first. If you decide to go that route, get a soil test, as you may need to amend it. Adding too much of anything to your soil can do as much harm as good.

It may be more feasible, or even easier, to try container gardening. This enables you to control the soil (potting mix) and weeds more easily and can fit into any sunny outdoor space, even a porch step. In addition, recycled containers can be used to minimize the initial cost.


If you are new to gardening, it's a good idea to begin with some easier foods to grow. Lettuce and herbs, such as basil and parsley, are quite easy and offer quick gratification since you are eating the leaves of the plant rather than a ripened fruit or mature root. Carrots, bush beans and tomatoes are also good choices for beginners and can offer up more variety than a simple salad.

Read up on the foods you are interested in growing, as some should be started as seeds, and for other types, buying a young plant is a better choice (especially in the end of May).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time