Eat Well, Eat Cheap, Start a Garden!

If you’ve ever decided to go on a “health kick,” you’ve probably hit the grocery store determined to buy a pile of healthy food. The painful reality will hit you at the checkstand; because most healthy food comes with a higher price tag than the unhealthy stuff. However, not all healthy foods have to break the bank. If you have a little time and space, you can actually grow your own healthy foods by planting a small garden. To give you an idea of just how easy it is to get started, we asked one of our employees with a stellar green thumb to tell her story about how she got her garden started. This is Sue’s tale about how she became a gardener:  

Years ago, I planted my first garden in an unused 4’ x 8’ strip of dirt next to my apartment’s back door. I planted mainly beans (I heard they were easy), plus a little lettuce, zucchini, and a couple tomato plants. My dad gave me some marigold starts, so I had flowers, too. By trial and error, I learned to keep things watered and watch out for snails. To my delight, most things grew.

In those days as a young family starting out, we struggled to make ends meet, so we ate plenty of cheap carbs (pasta, potatoes, breads). The green beans, lettuce, zucchini, and tomatoes that I grew, helped me add more fresh veggies to our meals while stretching our food dollars. I made lots of one-pot meals with my simple recipe of pasta + veggies+ sauce. And just like that, our meals were much healthier!

I discovered something else when I planted the garden. The beans I planted were actually magic beans. When they grew, so did my love of gardening. Not only was growing my own food interesting and satisfying, I found spending time in the garden was a great way to unwind. Some days after work, I would go straight to the garden. The smell of tomato leaves or marigolds were instant stress relief.

Since that first garden, I’ve always looked for a way to plant something wherever I’ve lived. I’ve enjoyed watching things grow, trying new vegetables, and learning along the way. And over the years, I’ve harvested so much more than vegetables from my gardens.

I recommend you begin a garden, even if it’s in a dirt strip or big flower pot. And be sure to plant beans. They may turn out to be magic.

If you’re a seasoned gardener, or just a novice, we’d love to hear your ideas, challenges, and solutions. Finding a hobby that helps you eat well, alleviate stress, and save money is a home run in our book! If you have any tips for our beginning growers out there, please share them here.

Leave a comment


  1. latinamom

     /  March 29, 2016

    I am really good at growing zucchini! It will be great to grow food.

  2. And all that digging and weed pulling is great excercise!


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