Growing produce at home is the new alternative


Courtesy of Stephen Hart

Home Grown. Stephen Hart, who has been gardening since his college years, shows off (some tomatoes/ an eggplant). Hart’s witner garden produced a bumper crop of tomatoes, some eggplants and peppers, and a large batch of broccoli. “This is the first year I have tried to grow broccoli, and I’m happy to say it worked,” said Hart.

Chirs Alexander, staff writer

For those looking for an alternative and relatively cheap solution to supplement produce, growing food at home is an effective job and hobby to pursue. Growing your own food shows encouragement for outdoor leisures and regulates sustaining a healthy diet.
Diversifying someone’s personal diet with fruits and vegetables specific to the person’s liking and lack of vitamins shows better results than foods bought in the produce section at a regular grocery store.
“I prioritize my vitamin deficiencies when picking the foods that I plan on growing,” said Cody Wold, an active gardener.
Straight from the farm to the table foods can contain more vitamins and antioxidants than food that has been chemically modified and shipped across states just to get to the store.
As far as affordability goes, the results are prevalent. According to the USDA, the average price of store bought produce can typically weigh in between $0.71 and $3.62 per pound. Whereas seeds can average around $2.80 for a packet of 50 seeds can yield 10 to 30 pounds depending on the plant on one seed alone.
“I think that having the opportunity to save money wherever we can without sacrificing our nutrition is important because we’re trying to pay for college and life expenses,” said Cait Bunkers, a junior.
Taking into consideration environmentally friendliness, maintaining and growing plants in a garden at home can essentially diminish the carbon footprint one leaves behind when purchasing foods from grocery stories. Growing produce from home can also reduce fossil fuel emissions that come with the process of commercially transporting food products.
Building a garden and awaiting yields of produce yet isn’t a simple task at hand. Easy starting gardens can simply contain pots or old cans, half cut milk containers, or ground beds filled with soil. The idea is to have fast growing plants that contain high yields in produce with little effort.
Due to Arizona’s fluctuating weather patterns, knowing the right foods to grow is key. Simple produce to grow in Arizona are tomatoes, peppers, corn, bean plants, basil, parsley and onion.
The most ideal time to grow is in late winter to early spring in which the best time to harvest is before the summer heat kicks in, typically within a three month period.
“Timing your garden properly is really important. If you don’t time it properly things won’t grow right,” Bunkers said.
For more experienced gardeners, the plants that take long periods of time to grow are more ideal. Some long lasting plants are citrus trees which are the most acclimated to growing in Arizona climates and usually are harvested during the colder climates in winter.
Results of home gardening show substantial increase in physical wellbeing and deluding rising changes in weather patterns. As also saving money at the grocery store.