As every single mom knows, your kids need their fruits and veggies. But the prices for the best foods in the supermarket seem to get higher every month! You can remedy the money problem and still provide great foods for your family by planting your own garden.
If you have a big backyard, barter services from a local farmer and ask him to till up the ground for you. You can also rent a tiller for a small amount from any farm supply store or your local co-op. If you don't have the room on your property for a garden or if you are renting your home, a container garden can work wonders. You can find large flowerpots or other planting containers at your local thrift store.
Make sure your garden spot is sunny, and has great access to rainfall. If you use a container garden, keep it on a counter inside where it has plenty of sunlight, or put it on a balcony or porch to lessen the need for watering. Choose plants that are easy to maintain and grow - tomatoes are always a good bet, and since they grow straight up on inexpensive "tomato cages," they can save you lots of room. Peppers can be grown this way, too.
Depending on the region you are in, the proper planting time might be earlier in the spring or closer to the summer months. Pick up an almanac and look at the dates for your area, or ask a seasoned farmer when it's best to plant certain things. You will get a lot of advice from someone who has been in the planting business for a long time, so when you do ask, have a pen and paper handy!
You can find seeds at your local co-op or better yet, barter with a farmer or fellow gardener to get what you need. Some local organizations offer plants for free to those who fall within income guidelines, and food stamps or the EBT card covers the purchase of seeds from your grocery store.
Don't purchase expensive fertilizers for your garden - look into ways to fertilize without harmful chemicals, such as using compost. Fertilizers can be very harmful if used improperly, and storing them in a home with curious children is never a good idea anyway.
Speaking of kids, get them involved! Teach them how to pull weeds and what to watch for when the plants are growing. Find information at your local library on the stages of plant life and turn your garden into a science lesson. When the fruits and vegetables are ripe, let the kids pick them. If you have a large area in which to garden, make it extra fun for the kids by planting strawberries, watermelons and pumpkins. There's nothing like a fresh watermelon, warm from the sun, for a summertime dessert!