How home gardens can save you some green on fresh produce amid inflation
Written by Kelly McCarthy ABC News on May 13, 2022
(NEW YORK) — As prices to fill the fridge steadily rise, some savvy Americans are getting straight to the source to dig up new ways to save.
Grab some soil, a shovel, seeds and gloves, because home gardening could be the start to a produce solution.
With Consumer Price Index estimates that fresh vegetable prices will rise nearly 5% this year and fresh fruit prices will increase almost 7%, experts suggest planning meals with seasonal produce to keep costs down.
Bonton Farms founder Daron Babcock, whose farm yields 40,000 to 50,000 pounds of food each year, told ABC News’ Good Morning America that farming produce begins with education. He shared some steps to get started.
“We have people coming and learning how to [garden] that want to come and learn how to do this in their own backyard,” he said.
According to the National Gardening Association, home gardeners who hope to grow their savings should look for plants that can grow and boast big yield in a small space, such as tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers.
A small packet of lettuce seeds can cost around $2 and could yield enough for a summer’s worth of greens, providing hundreds of dollars in savings.
Michael Pratt turned a gardening hobby into a savings cornucopia and told GMA, “Not only do we get better tasting fresh vegetables — it doesn’t hurt your pocket.”
He said he’s bought “significantly less” produce from the store, adding that now “it’s only proteins and non-growable things” at the grocery checkout.
“It’s hundreds of dollars a month that we no longer have to spend,” he said.
For others looking to start a home garden of their own, Pratt suggests researching what plants grow best in the area.
Although some people don’t have living arrangements where gardening is an accessible option, there are some investments and options to ultimately save.
For example, apartment dwellers can focus on growing fresh herbs in containers on window sills or shop for a hydroponic and vertical indoor farming system.
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