During this time of uncertainty and change it is more important than ever to learn to grow your own food. Honestly there are so many benefits that come from growing your own food. Not only is it an excellent skill to have to sustain yourself if you need to, but it also helps to pass the time while we are all stuck indoors. It’s also a great way to help reduce agricultural pollution and product packaging waste. I could go on and on, but essentially knowing how to grow your own food is the first real step towards self sustainability. No pressure, right?
Although it can seem really intimidating, the process of growing your own food is actually pretty simple. It just takes a little bit of planning and research. Figuring out what you want to grow and whether not it’s within your means is most of the work. If you live in an apartment in the Midwest like I do, then you may want to consider smaller plants that you can grow indoors on a patio or balcony. But if you live in a house in the South you can dream a little bigger and start planting that avocado tree you’ve been meaning to grow. It all boils down to climate, sunlight, and the amount of work you’re willing to put into it.
To start off simple, go with plants that don’t take a lot of time and energy to plant or grow. Plants whose seeds will do most of the work for you. Currently, I’m growing tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, and potatoes. I’m also growing basil, but we won’t get into that right now (It’s dying). I started out by taking used cans and plastic packaging, poking holes in them, then adding coffee filters. Then I would add dirt and the seeds from vegetables I have used. After a while I decided to plant the seeds in seedling starter trays. It just seemed like they would be easier to transfer into a larger pot later on. I found 24 seedling trays for $9 on Amazon, but please shop locally if you can.
I made the video to show just how easy and efficient it is to begin a garden by planting the seeds from my red bell pepper into a seedling tray. The end result is a tray of pepper seeds that have been growing for around 2 weeks. It doesn’t seem like much but I’m ecstatic to see even an inch of growth!
I hope this ‘How To’ video has been useful! Let me know what you think in the comments.
Tips: I did end up going back and doubling up on the coffee filters to line the trays. The filters help to keep the dirt in because the seedling trays have holes in them so that water does not become trapped and stale at the bottom. You can use a plate, a paper towel, or even newspaper to soak up the excess water. Also make sure not to overload your trays with seeds. Bell peppers produce hundreds of tiny seeds, so feel free to make two or three trays. The more the merrier!