4 Vegetables to grow not buy. Grow these 4 veggies in your garden and you will never have to buy them from the store again.
Part of the reason we grow a large vegetable garden is to provide as much food for our family as possible. We live on a small city lot, so we will never really be able to provide all of our own vegetables. But there are a few vegetables that we grow and preserve so that we never have to buy them from the grocery store.
Here is our list of 4 vegetables to grow not buy.
The first veggie on our list of vegetables to grow not to buy is onions. We have found it pretty easy to grow enough onions to provide all of our family’s needs, all year long. And the nice thing is that onions really don’t take up a lot of space in the garden. As little as 30 square feet can give us a plot of onions that will last us all winter.
The key to never having to buy another onion lies in the varieties you choose to grow and the timing of the plantings. First, choose a long-lasting storage onion. We love the variety, Copra. When stored in a cool dark spot with temps around 45 to 50 degrees we have been able to keep Copra onions good for up to 10 months. In fact, one year recently we ate the last of our stored Copra onions on the day we harvested the new crop.
It also helps if you plant some onions that are specifically meant to be eaten early as green onions. Having some quick-growing green onions planted early in the spring will give you something to bridge the gap between the last of your stored onions and the first of your new years’ crop. Over the last 8 years, we have only had to buy onions from a store on one occasion.
Garlic is another great crop on the list of vegetables to grow not buy. You do need to change your thinking a bit with garlic. You can grow a great crop of garlic in a fairly small space, but garlic doesn’t store as long as onions. So you may have some time, maybe as long as 3 months where you are without garlic. You can help bridge the gap by growing hard-neck garlic that produces scapes. Those will be ready to eat about 4 to 6 weeks before your main crop is ready to harvest.
Growing a mix of hard-neck and soft-neck garlic will also help. We have found that soft neck garlic lasts a lot longer in storage than hard neck so be sure to grow both.
You can also provide all of your own garlic by preserving it. You can make your own garlic powder or you can pickle garlic to preserve it. These preservation methods along with a good stock of garlic in storage should ensure you never have to buy garlic from the store again.
The third crop on our list of vegetables to grow not buy is green beans! It’s really easy to grow a big mess of beans! We love to grow pole beans, they take up very little space and produce like crazy for a long time!
Green beans are of course fantastic fresh from the garden, but they are also perfect for canning and freezing. A spot as small as maybe 4 x 10 feet with a couple of long trellises for the beans to grow up on can provide you will all the beans you need. That way you will never have to buy another can of store-bought beans!
The last of our vegetables to grow not buy is tomatoes! We haven’t bought a tomato at the store for over 8 years. (part of that is because we just can’t stand those tasteless store bought tomatoes).
Growing enough tomatoes to never have to buy them from the store again does require dedicating quite a bit of space in your garden. It also means you will need to plan on doing some canning or freezing. If you plant some of your tomatoes extra early using water-filled cloches and you learn how to bring in your green tomatoes in the fall and let them ripen indoors, you can have fresh tomatoes for as long as 6 months. You then just fill in the gap by either canning or freezing tomatoes to take you through the winter.
Growing and preserving these 4 veggies will give you a great start on never having to buy vegetables at the store again!!