Molly Fowler - The Dining Diva

Molly Fowler, The Dining Diva

Wow! My heart skipped a beat when I saw the final tally at the grocery store the other day. I was shopping for my class on “Preserving the Harvest” at The Arbor Gate. I was SHOCKED at the price of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Folks, I’ve gotta tell you, it is only going to get worse. With the drought and the fires, we will be paying premium prices to feed our families. The time to act is NOW!

Fortunately, fall (in our part of the world) is the ideal time to plant herbs and a vast assortment of vegetables! Planting now will allow the plants to get well-established root systems to sustain them into the spring, and on into the summer. If you decide to wait until next spring to plant, they will not have enough time to get established to survive another hot, and drought-ridden, summer.

Listen to this ~ this is HUGE!!! Think about what you are currently paying for the packaged mixed spring greens for your salads at the grocery stores. I’ve noticed I pay a lot for a small quantity, and I often have quite a bit of waste since we don’t make a salad every night of the week. Literally, throwing money into the garbage! The Arbor Gate has planted gorgeous lettuce bowls (varieties of lettuce plants in a container) for $15.99. This sixteen dollar investment will yield salad at least twice a week for a family of 3-4 through the spring!! Think how quickly this salad bowl (easily grown on your porch) will pay for itself! There are many other vegetables currently available – broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, Swiss chard, kale, and more! The staff can help you make your selections, and give you expert advice on how to plant and care for them for maximum yield.

Additionally, packages of fresh herbs are well over $2 each! You can plant the herb in your garden or flower bed for less than the cost of one package. You do not need to have a dedicated herb garden. So many of these plants, especially the perennials (oregano, Mexican mint marigold – our Texas tarragon, rosemary, sage, and thyme) are very easy to grow in containers and also incorporated into your regular flower beds. They are beautiful additions to your landscape. They will provide an abundance of fresh herbs for years! You even have time to plant basil (an annual) and harvest a very nice, and flavorful, crop to make pesto for the freezer!

What are you waiting for? Ready, set GROW!!!