Last week's GrowAsis blog, "Be Empowered, Grow and Secure Your Own Food Part 1"  gives insight on ways to truly be food secure in Chicago.  These insights are about complete access to fresh food at all times; inexpensive ways to eat vegetables; and immediate access to food within a 100 mile radius.  The purpose of the blog is to provide helpful, inexpensive, sustainable ways to be food secure through various methods which include gardening at home, regrowing vegetables and patronizing farmers markets.  It sets the foundation for the blog's second piece which will further help people to be empowered to grow and secure food. It is a continuation with focus about how much food you can grow in your garden.   

Thinking about how much food you should grow in your garden is a critical component to securing your food.  It is important because it speaks to your control of what and how many vegetables you consume.  Asking questions centered around this component is a good way of giving you decision-making power about your food.  This blog piece provides three suggested questions:

-Which vegetables do I eat the most?

-How many people am I feeding?

-What is my current food bill? How can I reduce it?

Which Vegetables Do I Eat the Most?

As a consultant of GrowAsis Urban Garden Consulting, Inc I advise my clients to grow the vegetable crop they eat the most and I advise you to do the same.  Many clients who are practicing positive eating habits, eat kale and spinach for their smoothies and salads, therefore I suggest they grow enough to sustain their nutritional needs. Vegetables you eat frequently should be grown in abundance by you to maintain your lifestyle and improve the quality of your life.  Doing so can provide you with nutrition for your dietary needs, bring health to your garden soil and save you grocery money.  Assess the vegetables you eat the most and grow them.

How Many People Am I Feeding?

Your role in your community can help you determine who you are feeding and how much food to grow.  If you are feeding a family household of five, your garden should be large enough to accomodate meals for that household.  As a neighbor or caregiver grow enough for yourself and a little more to supply fresh food for your loved ones.  Keep in mind that the amount of people you are feeding determines how much to grow as well as how much space you will garden in.  Sharing is caring, especially when it comes to food so take note of how many people you want to give your vegetable yields to.

My Grocery Bill, How Can I Reduce It?

Increased costs throughout the retail food industry affect personal grocery bills, usually with price increase.

"Grow whatever is breaking your bank".  That is my rule of thumb to aspiring urban gardeners.  There is great financial benefit from this practice that can drastically reduce your grocery bill, I can personally attest to it.  From April 2014 to November 2014, I documented the organic vegetables I ate out of gardens and looked up the retail price of each item on a USDA website.  $100 is the average monthly amount I saved for seven months during that garden season which is about $700!  Cultivating your own cash crop helps to avoid total reliance on the high priced retail food industry.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Is this blog post helpful to you?  Do the questions help you decide how to be empowered to grow and secure your food?  What are you thoughts and ideas centered around food security in your environment?