Thrifty Thursday: Planting a garden
At Darrell Burnett's house in Metropolis, if you want a fresh salad, just head to the backyard. His cool weather plants have been feeding the family for months.
"They definitely taste better," Burnett said. "Anything that matures on the vine is going to taste better than something picked green and shipped to you. Want real flavor grow it yourself."
Burnett's spring planting is finished. Now it's round two: beans and tomatoes.
"These are all romas. Canning tomatoes for tomato paste. We eat chili and soups and get a quart and you get a quart you've canned and you can't beat it," Burnett said.
Burnett has a lot of room out in the country, but he says even if you live in the city with a small backyard, you can grow tomatoes, peppers, beans and broccoli. He adds that you don't need store-bought fertilizer. Composting your kitchen and yard waste is the way to go.
Anything can be composted except meat. Coffee grounds, orange peels and potato peels can go in the pile, along with grass clippings, leaves and other items.
Working in the garden in the fresh air and sunshine is not only tranquil, it's a good workout, too.
"It is (a workout) for me," Burnett said. I do this manually by hand and it's my exercise program."
According to Kitchen Gardeners International, your average savings associated with having your own small garden is anywhere from $600-$2,000, depending on how many fresh items you usually buy at the grocery store. One example is a tomato plant, which costs about $2.90, but produces about $50 worth of tomatoes.