With food costs having risen substantially over the last year, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do about that, other than to just hope for a raise.
But the Smithers library has hit upon a concrete and excellent idea by offering free garden seeds with your library card.
This way, people can try out gardening for the first time, or get back into it at a very low cost. And growing some of your own food can be a good way to put a dent in the grocery budget. It’s not just prices on traditionally higher cost items like meat that have increased, but also on common vegetables that can be grown in our climate, in our own backyards. Or if you don’t have a backyard, in containers on a deck or in a plot in a community garden. Even some plant pots on a windowsill can yield some yummy results.
Things like beans and peas, chard, lettuce, carrots and peppers are staples that, with a bit of sweat equity, we can provide for our kitchens without a stop at the produce department at the grocery store. Even growing just a few things can make a difference. You never know when broccoli is going to be declared the next superfood and the price is going to skyrocket due to everyone wanting to snatch it up to throw in a blender for their super-smoothie.
There are other benefits to gardening as well, not just the savings in the pocketbook.
Gardening provides gentle (or not so gentle, depending on what you’re attempting) exercise and gets people outdoors into the fresh air and sunshine. It’s also relaxing for many, as there’s nothing quite like sticking your hands in the earth to gain some perspective and a sense of accomplishment.
And of course, nothing tastes quite like fresh-from-the-garden veggies, either raw with the dirt knocked off of them or roasted to bring out the flavours. Inhale the aroma of a warm, sun-ripened tomato before slicing into the sweet fruit and you’ll be hooked.
So if you’re curious, go check it out.