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Grow Your Own and Save

Reduce your grocery bill this summer by growing a few of your favorite vegetables.  And the good news, you don’t need much space to produce enough fresh vegetables for you and your family to enjoy.

Add one or more tomatoes, peppers or eggplants to your existing gardens or plant in a pot.  The colorful fruits can add beauty to any garden and a tomato in your flower bed is sure to draw a bit of attention.  Train vines crops like pole beans, cucumbers, melons and squash up a fence, trellis or fancy obelisk.  Use a cloth sling to support heavy fruit as it develops.

Include greens like lettuce, and spinach and arugula in spring and fall plantings.  Mix in a few pansies, they’re edible too, and other flowers for added eye appeal.  And add a bit of crunch and nutrition to your diet with carrots, radishes, beets and other root vegetables.

And don’t forget the herbs.  Their color and texture are perfect additions to flower beds and container plantings.  Use them fresh, dry for winter and use a few to create gifts for friends and family.

A bit more information:  Preserve some of your favorite garden herbs to use throughout the year.  Harvest herbs just before they flower for the most intense flavor, though anytime will work.  Lightly rinse to remove any soil and remove any dead or damaged leaves.  Bundle several stems together and hang upside down to dry.  Place inside a paper bag to catch any leaves or stems that drop during the drying process.  Or dry small quantities in the microwave.  Place one to two cups of fresh herbs between microwave safe paper towels.  Microwave on high for 2 to 4 minutes or until dry.  Check to make sure you do not overcook.  Store dried herbs in an airtight container until ready to use. 

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Franklin, WI

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