Cheap Produce | Plant a Garden and Learn To Can & Freeze

So, I’ve discussed with you how to get Cheap Produce by looking into Kansas City’s Community Supported Agriculture Programs.

Today, we are going to talk about getting cheap produce by things you can do in your own house.

Plant a Garden.

The picture above is baby lettuce from my garden.

You don’t need acres of land to have a garden. We are able to grow lots of veggies with our three different plots - in front of our house (full-sun), side of the house (sun-shade) and back yard (sun-shade). Between these three plots we are able to harvest lettuce, cucumbers, squash, snow peas, peppers, tomatoes, radishes, basil, cilantro, and beans. (And this year we are trying rutabagas and strawberries.) And since I’m the farmer, I know they are pesticide free.

With that being said, knowing what your “plot of land” can produce is helpful. Don’t be like me and spend three years planting and watering tomatoes and only get three tomatoes. That doesn’t make for cheap produce. It makes for $20.00 tomatoes.

Learn How to Store Your Produce.

Once you are able to get your hands on some cheap produce, it’s important to know how to store it for the long term.

The easiest way is to get some good produce storage containers because they honestly make your produce last longer. With the right storage conditions, I’m able to keep my produce for at least a week longer than without it.

Also learning to freeze and can your local organic produce at its prime, you guarantee a superb tasting product. As as added benefit, you are usually purchasing the produce when it is its lowest price – so it is like stockpiling – only with fruits and veggies.

I know canning and freezing can seem intimidating, but it isn’t as hard as you think. I did several freezing and canning tutorials (Look under the subhead “Tutorials”) last year and I plan on doing more this year. And if I can do it, you can too. Because Martha Stewart, I am NOT.

Like anything, you can do as much or as little as you would like. But even if you pick just one, you reduce your overall produce budget long term.

How about you? Are you planting a garden this year? What things do you like to can or freeze? Leave a comment and let us know.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Comments

  1. We love our garden!! It’s a great thing for the kids to help with and learn about (1 and 3). This year we’ve got: tomatoes, beans, zucchini, peppers, peapods, garlic, kohlrabi, cucumber, and basil. I’ll can and freeze the goods, but my husband is the one who actually plays farmer. :)

  2. I discovered last year how easy it is to grow lettuce. It’s been a success this year as well. I’m going to try growing it again in the fall and trying spinach too.
    I’ve also planted pots of herbs combined with flowers so I have my fresh herbs and have my ornamental flowers as well.

  3. I love going to City Market (River Market) on Saturdays. I can fill my fridge with a $20 bill. Heads of cauliflower for a buck! But you just have to take your time and inspect everything carefully…a lot of it is wholesale, and some of it resell. So use caution. But all my veggies have always looked great. Great way to stock up on green beans and tomatoes and then can your surplus!

  4. We’ve planted our first garden this year but so far the rabbits have been the ones enjoying it. It looks like all of my lettuce is gone and now they’re headed for the broccoli. Any tips on keeping them out? We live on 20 acres in the country so we also have deer and who knows what else that are probably enjoying it too. On the other hand, our radishes went crazy and our tomatoes, corn and strawberries are doing well.

    • We haven’t had problems with rabbits (but we use a fence and raised beds), but have an awful time with squirrels.

    • I think you only need a short fence to keep rabbits out. Deer on the other hand can jump a tall fence. You can put dog fur in your mulch around the plants for squirrels and chipmunk deterant (if you have a dog that sheds like mine, just brush and save what you brush off). This one sounds a little weird and I’ve never tried it myself: Spread axe deodorant around the perimeter of your garden (I think you would have to have a fence or something to spread it on) to keep the deer away. I guess they don’t like the scent.

      • BWAHAHAHA. Deers don’t like Axe, but according to the commercials, women really do. Wonder if you will have co-eds coming to pick lettuce. LOL.

  5. Annette Park says:

    My two kids(6&9) are learning about growing their own food this year. I have grown up helping my mom plant vegetables, perennials, & other flowers & herbs. In the last 3 years, my husband is learning to grow vegetables. I just wished that he would plan the garden beds & mark what seeds he has planted. So each we plant more & try different things. This year we have: green beans, peas, brown crowder peas, several different kinds of squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, green & hot peppers. We also planted several onions & a carrot that sprouted. One of the kids’ summer chores is watering the gardens. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be a hot summer in KC. But I love the idea of fresh organic produce. Last year, my mother-in-law taught me how to can salsa & pasta sauce. I’ll be doing alot more of that this year.

  6. Annette Park says:

    My question is about organic rabbit repellants. Our gardens have attracted a rabbit who is developing a gourmet palate on my three varieties of basil & other tender shoots that are trying to grow. I was going to make a solution of water & hot sauce/Tabasco to keep them away. Any other ideas?
    I have a neighbor with a large dog that needs daily brushing. I also thought I would till some dog fur around the plants-since we don’t own a dog ourselves.

  7. I have basil, garlic & potatoes this year as we are in a new home and still getting to map the landscaping out. BUT!!!! Have any of you heard about potato boxes? 3ft boxes that could harvest up to 100lbs of potatoes. Just Google “potato boxes” and find the how to. As for garlic, you plant cloves in the fall and harvest heads in the summer.
    Great read, Kelly!!!
    As for rabbits, my grandmother always planted marigolds around the garden which was very pretty too. Did you know they also reseed? Pluck the dead heads, dry and plant the next year.

    • We also do marigolds for protection. And do exactly as you say, pluck – dry – reseed. It’s awesome.

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