Beat the cost of living by turning your back yard into your own grocery store

The hike in inflation across the world has led to cripplingly high costs for even the most basic of food and household goods. With salaries struggling to keep up, many households have found that they have had to cut back on their monthly budgets, with the most vulnerable having to choose between eating or heating in a bid not to fall into deeper and deeper debt.

It is no surprise that many households have been turning to self sufficiency in a bid to beat inflation and produce fruit and vegetable that not only puts food on their table, but also promotes a return to a much simpler, more sustainable way of life which is less reliant on global markets and more in tune with nature.

Rebuilding that local community spirit

It also evokes a greater sense of community, with those who are producing an excess of produce sharing it with more vulnerable local neighbors who may not have the space or means to even get started with growing their own vegetables. There is no greater pleasure than finding a box of home grown vegetables left by a friendly neighbor, which in itself can save that household a significant amount off their weekly shopping bill.

If you’re looking to start your own small vegetable plot and are not sure where and how to start, we’ve put together a short guide here to get you motivated. The important thing is to not feel overwhelmed. Start small, and extend it bit by bit as you become more competent and knowledgeable.

Assess your space and plan the layout

You don’t need a huge space to yield a decent harvest. Even if you simply have space for a few window boxes, there is no reason why you can’t pot up some window boxes and try to grow your favorite veggies. However, if you are fortunate enough to have a modest garden, assess an area which you feel would be most suitable for cultivation and sketch out a plan. You will need to take into account factors such as exposure to the sun, soil quality, drainage and potential obstacles such as trees and garden sheds. 

If poor soil conditions are a factor which could prevent a healthy crop, you might want to consider creating raised beds or containers. While this involves additional work and financial outlay, you can keep costs to a minimum using various local exchange and buy & sell sites on social media.

Seek out essential equipment

While you don’t want to be spending vast amounts on any equipment, there are certain tools that you don’t want to be without. A good quality garden spade, fork and hoe will set you up for life. A simple net can protect your garden produce from birds. It can be acquired for not much cost but will end up saving your crop from hungry beaks. 

Seek help and advice from every possible source

If you’re not sure what to start planting, then don’t be afraid to seek advice from your neighbors or local hardware store where you buy seeds. They will have knowledge and experience of the type of soil you have, and what is best grown in that soil. 

The most important step though is to simply start. No matter how much you plan, you can end up procrastinating through uncertainty. The joy of creating your own vegetable plot is that you will learn as you go along, implementing new ideas and techniques in response to how your seedlings are growing. There will be failures, but there may also be some unexpected and exciting successes, so don’t be surprised if you end up enjoying some vegetables that you would never have even thought to pick up in the supermarket. 

Ultimately, not only are you saving yourself money, but you are eating produce that you know exactly where it comes from, and you are reaping the benefits of the being outside in the fresh air, away from the technological absorption of screens. 

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