We would all like our backyards to be a source of food – but how achievable is it that your backyard could become THE source of food?
With decreased block sizes and hectic lifestyles, modern day living doesn’t lend itself to a self-sufficient lifestyle. However what if I could tell you that there are easy ways to supply yourself with a continual supply of small amounts of produce that will make a difference to your weekly shopping list.
Here are a couple of ideas:
Grow plenty of spring onion. Spring onion is very easy to grow, it can be planted in containers and many plants can be planted in a relatively small space. It is tough, tolerate of hot and cold conditions and requires very little fertiliser.
Instead of pulling the plant up at harvest, only cut the green leaf section. This can be used as a substitute for onion in meatballs, pasta, pizza, soups, and many more recipes. By leaving the roots of the plant intact the onion will regenerate and continue your supply.
If you have the room plant small strips of spring onion and harvest up and back the rows. On reaching the end, start at the beginning and repeat.
Using this method I have gone almost 2 years year or more without having to buy any spring onion.
This is a great way to access fresh onion if you use spring onion as a substitute for bulb onion.
Early in the season plant plenty of basil. When the plants have developed and are in their prime, harvest all but one remaining plant. Use this last plant to harvest fresh basil for your evening meals and to eventually go to seed and collect the seeds.
Take the large amount of freshly harvested basil, remove any stems and chop finely or put in a blender. Pack the chopped basil into an ice cube tray and add a touch of water. Freeze the tray and pop the frozen basil cubes into a freezer bag. Repeat until you have cube frozen all the basil.
Using this method you can extend your home grown basil well past its natural expiration. Sure, you don’t have freshly cut basil leaves for a salad, however you do have home grown basil that can be added to soups, pasta, and stews through -out winter. The basil you grew in summer can still contribute to the meals you eat in winter. All fleshy herbs can be used in this way.
Other ways to become more self-sufficient include those plants with excellent storage capability such as; potato, onion, and garlic.