5 Food Plants that are Super Easy to Grow


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

5 Food Plants Anyone Can Grow | Whether you're short on space or new to gardening, start with these no-fuss fruits and veggies to get you growing (and eating) from your own deck, balcony or backyard.Whether you’re just starting out as a new gardener or you’re working with little space, my best advice is to start small with a handful of plants that are easy to grow.

Last year was my first year as a veggie gardener and I was a little overzealous, especially considering I was due to give birth mid summer. By the time our baby girl was born we were elbows deep in tomatoes that needed constant pruning, spinach that was bolting in the heat, vining squash that was taking over our yard and then an apple season that we could hardly keep up with. Not that it was a bad season by any stretch! But it was a lot to deal with all at once, especially come harvest time. That harvest season was also my first time canning and preserving, so it was a steep learning curve… especially with a newborn!

We grew spinach, broccoli, onions, carrots, peas, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, pumpkin, blueberries and strawberries. We also harvested tons of apples, cherries and grapes from trees and vines that are already established on our property. On top of that, we were part of a CSA, which provides weekly boxes of local fruits and veggies. AND I bought a ton of stuff from the weekly farmers market, including about 10 lbs of blueberries and green beans to preserve. 

What I’m saying is, don’t be like me. Well, be a little like me:) But if you don’t want the overwhelm, just try a few things out first. Don’t go crazy and grow too much variety. Stick to a handful of plants and focus instead on growing a few different types of fruits and veggies.

Choose plants that are easy to grow and high-yielding with little effort. A variety of berries, legumes (beans, peas), tomatoes, squash and onions are a good start! Growing a plant or two from each group is good for your garden and will give you some good basic gardening wisdom to build on.

If you’re wondering where to start, the following veggies will give you the most bang for your buck, meaning you’re likely to get a good harvest with a few plants and/or minimal effort. The plants you choose and the amounts you grow will depend upon how much space you have. But if you’ve got space for a small garden (or even just a sunny balcony), these 5 fruits and veggies are your best bet.

 

1. Strawberries

There’s nothing quite like the taste of the first ripe strawberry of summer, fresh off the vine. The only thing better is the fact that this vine is a prolific one that keeps on giving. In fact, strawberries will take over your yard if you allow the runners to grow wild! 

To keep them from spreading, strawberries do best in containers, which makes them an excellent candidate for balcony gardening. Our strawberries grow in large planters on our deck. We also planted a single strawberry plant that was a gift from one of my students in its own pot. We planted it in a strawberry jar like this one and trained the runners into each pocket. One plant has now multiplied into a few plants with barely any effort. 

Our plants have also withstood one of the most brutal winters on record here, making them a hardy perennial. Over all they are a tasty addition to the garden with a really great return on investment! They can be eaten fresh, frozen whole or turned into a luscious strawberry jam for a taste of summer all year long.

 

2. Beans

Growing beans is almost like a right of passage for gardeners. Planting a bean seed, watching it grow and seeing it instinctively grab hold of a trellis and climb all the way to the top… It’s a pretty amazing thing to witness in the garden. It’s also pretty easy to grow beans. The large seeds are very recognizable and you can direct sow them in the ground. They can also be started indoors and are a great starter plant to for kids to grow. They make nice gifts too in you have extra seedlings to give away! 

While there are many types of beans to choose from, I recommend growing a pole bean that you and your family will eat. A pole bean is one that climbs a trellis versus a bush bean which grows low to the ground. Since pole beans climb up they require less space. We like green beans, but if you prefer a dried bean bean there are many varieties to choose from. 

Last year we were gifted Scarlett Runner beans. We planted them and they gave us tons of beans, but we didn’t really know what to do with them. We dried most of them and stored them in the pantry.  It would have made more sense for us to grow green beans, so that’s what we’re growing this year. 

 

3. Tomatoes

Considered a fruit in the gardening world and a vegetable in the culinary world, there is nothing quite so versatile as the humble tomato. Intensely flavourful when eaten fresh off the vine, tomatoes are also the basis of everything from pasta sauce and soups to ketchup and condiments. They can be prepared and preserved in a multitude of ways, and they even freeze easily if you can’t be bothered canning and drying them right away (or at all).

Tomatoes are also self-pollinating; This means they will bear fruit even without the help of pollinating insects and are a good candidate for seed-saving. They are easy to grow in containers on a sunny balcony and, aside from some pruning and watering, require little effort for a good-sized harvest. 

The biggest difficulties with tomatoes are issues like blight and a short growing season or early frost. Although we did personally struggle with a major weed problem as well as a siege of wood bugs that feasted on our plants, that is not the norm and was more a result of our greenhouse conditions than anything else. This year we will be growing them outdoors in containers while we deal with the greenhouse. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on our progress!

 

4. Garlic

Garlic is part of the allium family, which includes onions, shallots, chives and leeks. All alliums are fairly easy to grow and have few pests due to their strong odour. Chives are a great plant to grow in your herb garden: They have a long growing season and are a perennial that returns year after year  with very little effort. But if you have a little more space, I would highly recommend growing a few heads of garlic. A “set it and forget it” plant, garlic is one of the easiest things we’ve grown so far.

Garlic does best when planted in the fall just before the first frost. For each bulb you plant you will get one head. Here in the northwest, we plant in October and the garlic is ready to harvest in July. We let the garlic go through the cold, wet winter and then spring. We don’t even have to worry about watering until the dry summer kicks in. The incredibly yummy garlic scapes can be harvested in June and finally the heads of garlic are ready in July. This also leaves time to plant a fall crop in its place.  

Garlic is another great candidate for container gardening if your space is limited. Once harvested, garlic is easy to cure and can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to months at a time. The bulbs are also easy to save and replant the following year. You probably won’t make it that long before eating it all though. Garlic is one of the most widely used staples in many dishes from a wide range of cuisines.

A word of caution: Although it is possible to plant and grow store-bought garlic bulbs, it’s recommended that you buy seed garlic when you’re ready to plant. Store-bought seeds and bulbs can ruin your soil if they are not 100% organic and GMO-free.

 

5. Cucumbers

Perhaps the most notoriously prolific vegetable in existence, it has been said that cucumbers will invade your house if you don’t lock your doors when they’re in season. Easy to grow like most squash, cucumbers grow on a vine and like to spread out across your yard. You can grow them on a balcony or in a small space by training them up a trellis or fence. 

Cucumbers are high-yielding plants so be prepared to pickle them or gobble them up fresh because they unfortunately don’t keep long once harvested. 

Since we love pickles but we aren’t huge fresh cucumber eaters, we’re growing 9 pickling cucumber plants this year and two long (regular) cucumber plants . You can also juice cucumbers to enjoy fresh or freeze it in ice cube trays to add to drinks later.

If neither fresh cucumbers nor pickles float your boat, pretty much any squash is easy to grow. Zucchini is a great summer squash to try and spaghetti, butternut and pumpkin are all great additions to your fall garden! Keep in mind, however, that squash need lots of space to grow. They can be trellised, but particularly big, bulky winter squash might not be the best candidates for a balcony garden.

 

Gardening is all about experimentation

There are so many other awesome plants out there and I highly encourage you to try as many as you can. But if you’re just beginning or are short on space or time, start with this list of garden A-listers and you’ll feel like an expert in no time.

Once you nail these plants you can add to your repertoire the following year. Just make sure you learn a thing or two about preserving so you don’t lose your harvest! Or just spread the love by sharing your bounty with others. After all, no food that is shared and enjoyed is ever wasted.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to Start Homesteading Wherever You Are - Little House Living - […] don’t need to live on a farm to grow some of your own food at home. Even if all…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe (Dehydrator + Oven Instructions)

Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe (Dehydrator + Oven Instructions)

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   Homemade beef jerky is a delicious way to preserve meat for food storage and for easy transport to take on hikes, camping trips, road trips and to pack in a...

read more

Homemade Echinacea Tincture Recipe

Homemade Echinacea Tincture Recipe

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   It’s easy to make your own homemade echinacea tincture at home for a fraction of the cost of store-bought prepared tinctures. All you need is fresh or dried...

read more

What’s in your bug out bag??

Yesterday I was in my Stories sharing a bit about emergency preparedness and what I’m doing to get prepared for whatever the future holds.

I also asked YOU what emergency skills or supplies you recommend having in your back pocket “just in case,” and one of the responses I got was to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go.

This got me thinking it was high time to pull out my bug out bag and go through it because it’s been a couple years since I last did so. I decided to share it with you here and show you what I keep packed and ready to go and go through what needs updating and what I’m missing.

If the concept of a bug out bag is new to you, have a watch through this video and check out this article on 15 Emergency Preparedness Items You Need to Have Packed and Ready to Go: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/15-emergency-preparedness-items-you-need-packed-ready-to-go/

Also, if getting more prepared for anything and everything from a power outage to a natural disaster to a medical emergency to a man made disaster like a war or a cyber attack is a goal of yours, be sure to check out the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, which is packed with great advice on emergency preparedness for any situation. (Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com)

I’d also love to hear from you!

Do you keep a bug out bag packed?

What do you keep in it?

What types of emergency situations are you preparing for in your area?

Let me know in the comments 👇

#emergencypreparedness #preparedness #prepping #bugoutbag
...

48 8

Do you have what you need on hand to take care of yourself and your family in the event of a worst case scenario?

With everything going on in the world these days, we’re getting more and more serious about equipping ourselves with the tools, supplies and skills needed to handle emergency situations if the need arises.

Between growing nuclear tensions, the ongoing threat of pandemics, cyber attacks and a looming energy crisis, medical staff and supply shortages, and general “everyday” medical, financial and other miscellaneous emergencies, we’d all be wise to be prepared BEFORE the next emergency happens.

One of our neighbours passed away very suddenly last week (just 50 years old 😔) and it reminded me of just how quickly things can go sideways. As far as we know he suffered a heart attack, and while his wife did everything she could to save him, by the time the ambulance arrived it was too late. It was a wake up call for me, that not only do we need to be prepared with supplies on hand, but with knowledge and skills too. I’m definitely looking into booking a refresher First Aid course and highly recommend everyone reading this do the same if this is a skill you need to brush up on!

This is all part of being more self-reliant, and these skills are becoming more and more important in the world these days.

My hubby @ryan.sakawsky covered many emergency scenarios and how to prepare for them in detail in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, you can subscribe and read the latest issue via the link in my bio, or by visiting https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/subscribe/

I’d also love to hear from you! What are you doing to prepare and/or what skills and resources would you recommend that everyone acquire now before it’s too late?

Comment below 👇
...

29 3

If you feel like your garden struggled more than usual this year, or that many of your homesteading efforts were in vain, you’re not alone.

In fact, I heard from more people than ever before this year who were struggling with their gardens; With extreme or unpredictable weather; With pest problems that seemed worse than usual; With all manner of things that seemed to be conspiring against them and their efforts to grow food.

The fact is, gardening and homesteading comes with an inevitable amount of failure every year, and some years are going to be worse than others.

In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, Mike Fitzgerald of @omnivore.culture gets vulnerable and shares his own homesteading struggles, and the insights he gained from a rough year in the garden.

“I held in my heart an overwhelming level of optimism for the 2022 growing season… I couldn’t have been more wrong and could not have possibly prepared for what awaited me in the upcoming months that paved the way into summer,” he begins.

To read the full story, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe or log in and read the latest issue 🍁

(Quote in the reel by Mike Fitzgerald, “Rolling With the Punches,” Modern Homesteading Magazine | Issue 29 | Fall 2022).

#homesteading #homesteadersofinstagram #selfreliance #gardenersofinstagram #humanswhogrowfood #modernhomesteading
...

22 0

The world is changing faster than ever.

We’ve barely had time to adapt to the “new normal” and still things are continuing to shift, change, and in some cases spiral more each day.

From rising inflation and persistent supply chain issues, to a looming recession and food shortages that are expected to get worse after a very tough farming year, to a war on European soil and the threat of cyber attacks and (God forbid) a nuclear attack, to the future of digital IDs and increasingly pervasive government control over every aspect of our lives, it’s no wonder more people are looking for ways to escape the matrix and “opt out” of the system.

I consider myself an optimistic realist: I hope for the best and I live fully and freely in the moment, but I prepare for the future accordingly based on what I can see unfolding in our world. And honestly, I find this “sweet spot” to be incredibly empowering.

This is why I do what I do and why I share it with you on a regular basis; I WANT TO EMPOWER YOU TOO!

That’s why I created The Society of Self-Reliance: A private membership that connects you with the resources, support and community you need to reclaim your independence and become more self-reliant in every aspect of your life.

From growing and preserving your own food to crafting and using herbal medicine to life skills like how to manage it all and stay calm in stressful situations, how to prepare for emergency situations and much more, if you’re ready to learn invaluable skills that will help you take control of your family’s food security, health and wellbeing, time, finances, and ultimately over your own future, The Society of Self-Reliance was created for you!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be reopening the Society doors for a limited time starting next week, and wanted to give you the heads up NOW so that you can get on the waitlist and make sure you don’t miss out when enrollment opens.

To learn more or get on the waitlist, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society

#homesteading #selfreliance #livefreeordie
...

170 5

It’s October, and that means pumpkin spice season is officially here 🎃

This year, instead of spending $5 or more on a PSL loaded with questionable artificial ingredients, why not make your own pumpkin spice syrup at home with REAL PUMPKIN and all-natural ingredients!

All you need is some puréed pumpkin (I make mine with fresh pumpkins, but you can use canned), some brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, allspice and ginger, a splash of vanilla extract and some water.

Bring everything to a boil and then simmer and reduce. Strain into a bottle or Mason jar and store in the fridge for up to a week or so.

Add a tablespoon or 2 of this syrup to your coffee or homemade latte for a better quality, better tasting PSL for a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay at a coffee shop.

You can also add this syrup to homemade kombucha, or drizzle it over pancakes, waffles, French toast or even ice cream!

Grab the full recipe via the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-pumpkin-spice-syrup/

#pumpkinspice #psl #homemadetastesbetter #falldrinks
...

129 7

Do you dream of escaping the rat race and starting a homestead far from the chaos of the modern world?

It’s no surprise that in this day and age, more and more people are ready to leave it all behind and move to a property in the country where they can grow their own food, live a simpler life and become more self-sufficient and less dependent on “the system.” But as romantic as it sounds, it’s definitely easier said than done.

In the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, I sat down with Ann Accetta-Scott of @afarmgirlinthemaking to talk all about what people need to know about buying and selling a homestead property.

Ann and her husband Justin recently moved from their two-acre homestead outside of Seattle, Washington to a 40-acre homestead in rural Tennessee. Ann and I sat down to talk about the realities of buying and selling a homestead, moving across the country to pursue your homesteading dream, what to look for when you’re searching for your next property, pitfalls to avoid (if you can!), and what you can do if you’re not ready or in a position to make your move just yet.

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first homestead or trying to sell an existing homestead and upgrade to a bigger property, Ann had some great insights to share that can save you time, stress and money when you’re ready to make your move.

Check out the full interview in the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine: link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe, login to the library (if you’re already a subscriber) or view a sample of the current issue!

#modernhomesteading #homesteadersofinstagram #escapethematrix #selfsufficiency #selfreliance #selfsufficientliving
...

31 0

This is why people don’t trust our medical system!!!

I very rarely go on a rant about current events but this has me feeling really fired up…

My husband and I each got an Amber Alert on our phones the other night along with millions of other British Columbians, informing us of a child abduction in Vancouver. It made the suspect sound like a dangerous kidnapper and said “do not approach. Call 911.”

As it turns out, it was the mother of the child (a 3-year-old boy), who had refused medical treatment without getting a second opinion and follow up blood tests, so the Ministry of Child and Family Services was called, she was arrested and her son was taken from her and was administered medical treatment in the hospital without consent and without a guardian present.

There’s a lot more to this story than I’m able to share in this video or this caption, so I’ll post some links below where you can hear directly from the mom what happened, and check out other IG accounts that have been in direct contact with her and the father. But the point is this was a GROSS misuse of our Amber Alert system, a GROSS abuse of power (turns out the boy wasn’t sick in the end anyway), and has now traumatized this family for life.

Doctors are not gods and as mothers we do not co-parent with the government!!!

This hits close to home for me because I too have been through the medical system and had my concerns dismissed, was misdiagnosed and given wrong information, and was treated with obvious contempt when I got a second opinion.

In this day and age of rampant medical coercion and the erosion of bodily autonomy over our own bodies and over those of our children, this story highlights the dangers of the very slippery slope we’re on.

As parents who only have the best interests of our children at heart, this could happen to any one of us. We can’t let this be normalized. Remember “first they came for (fill in the blank), and I said nothing. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Check out my stories for the full video that the mom, Wiloh made explaining the details of what happened or check out the comments for links to learn more & support this family.
...

95 27

I’ve hesitated about posting this reel over and over because I know I’ll probably get backlash, hate and vitriol from some people in return. But I wouldn’t be being true to myself if I didn’t speak the truth that’s on my heart and mind…

If you haven’t noticed, there are currently thousands of Canadians sharing their stories and using the hashtag #trudeaumustgo on their social media posts right now in response to the divisive rhetoric and actions of our prime minister over the past few months. But our media has downplayed the issue and has attributed most of the hashtags to “bot” accounts and foreigners trying to influence our politics.

In response, real Canadians are making videos and sharing their stories to show that we are not bots, but real people who have been negatively affected by the words and actions of our leaders, particularly our leader at the top.

I used to consider myself a lifelong leftist and have supported the liberal government and Trudeau over the years, but after what I’ve witnessed over the past few months; After how he has spoken about Canadians who have made a different medical choice or who have protested mandates (which have done nothing to stop the spread of you-know-what anyway); After the hate and division that has trickled down from the top and infiltrated our communities, I can no longer stand silently by.

While I am 💉, a few months ago when I voiced my support for those who stood up against mandates and against the division being pushed on us by our leadership, I suddenly found myself among what our prime minister called the “small fringe minority” of citizens with “unacceptable views.”

I lost followers, friends and even a couple family members. I was told I’d been “radicalized,” although my views have never changed.

So today I’m adding my voice to the chorus of real, everyday Canadians who are taking a stand against tyranny and division in this country. As the saying goes, if we do not stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. I stand for freedom & autonomy, and against division & tyranny.

#trudeaumustgo

(Special thanks to fellow 🇨🇦 homesteader @meggarlandd for inspiring me & giving me the courage to post this:)
...

284 59

What would you do if the grid went down?

Imagine not just the lights going out, but all power, all digital communication and information. Would you be prepared?

A lot of us THINK we’re prepared for a grid down situation, but unless you’re already living off grid, you might not realize how dependent on technology we really are!

In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, contributor Ashley Constance of @dirtypawshomestead and @alittleselfreliant shares her experience voluntarily going without power for the day, and what she and her husband, Shawn learned from their grid down experiment.

You might be surprised at the things they discovered and missed on their prep list, and it might prompt you to reevaluate whether you’re ready in case the grid goes down, or even just Google 😱

Check out the full story in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#modernhomesteadingmagazine #homesteadersofinstagram #homesteading #modernhomesteading #prepping #nationalpreparednessmonth
...

28 0

The other day when I had a few minutes to spare, I was out in the garden doing a little work when my neighbour said hi over the fence.

I lamented to her about how busy we’ve been and how hard it’s been to keep on top of this year. Very sincerely, she replied “wait until you have another one,” referring to our baby on the way.

“You’ll be moving back to the suburbs so quick, mark my words,” she said.

Now, I don’t for a second think there was any ill intent behind her statement, but still, it took me aback.

“We’ll never move back to the city or the suburbs,” I replied with a laugh. “This may be hard work but we love it.”

She then repeated her statement and followed it up with “just you wait and see.”

I decided not to continue the back and forth. After all, I told myself, it doesn’t matter if she or anyone else knows what’s truly in your heart. It doesn’t matter if she understands that there’s no amount of difficulty that would make me run back to the suburbs and leave this life behind. In fact, our dream is to upgrade to a bigger property someday where we can grow an even bigger garden and add more livestock to our homestead!

Likewise, I visited the city last weekend for a family event and as always, I had at least a couple people ask me “so when are you moving back to the city?”

Seven years later, and still we have friends and family members who think this is just a phase we’re going through, and eventually we’ll come to our senses and move back.

I used to get offended by these questions because I felt unseen; I felt like nobody took this life that I’m so passionate about seriously, and thought it was “cute” that I was “playing farmer” for a bit, but eventually I had to grow up and become part of the “real world” once again.

Now I just smile and reply “never:)”

Can you relate? How do you (politely) respond when someone questions your lifestyle choices or implies that you’ll eventually come to your senses and come back to “reality”?

Let me know below 👇
...

88 16

The fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine just dropped!

In this issue you’ll find:

• Preparedness tips, tricks and advice to help you be ready for anything on the homestead (and in life!)
•The ultimate guide to growing garlic at home and it as both food and medicine
• Drool-worthy recipes that feature garlic as the star!
• Expert advice from A Farmgirl in the Making’s Ann Accetta-Scott on what to look for (and look out for) when buying or selling a homestead property
• Advice on how to learn and grow from perceived homesteading “failures”

And more!!!

Go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com or click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or login to the library and read the latest issue if you’re already subscribed!
...

32 3

When I first started homesteading, I had a burning desire to become more self-sufficient and live a more sustainable life.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a rebel at heart, and learning how to homestead and become more self-reliant was a way for me to “throw a proverbial middle finger to the system” and live life on my own terms.

As a teenager, I was the girl who drove around town with punk rock music blaring from my car, Misfits sticker on the back and studs around my wrists. I felt misunderstood and angsty and like I desperately didn’t fit in with the world I grew up in.

I always knew in my soul that I wanted something different; Something more.

Today I’m the mama with stretch marks on my belly and battle scars on my heart. I’m the woman who gardens and cans food and makes her own tinctures and believes in something greater than herself and fights every day to stay free in a world that feels increasingly engineered to keep us hopelessly dependent.

Today I feel whole and at peace, and connected to a higher power and a higher purpose. I feel like I’ve finally found the place where I belong.

This journey has been about so much more than homesteading for me, and I've learned, lost, gained and loved so much more than I ever could have imagined.

Because, as I've said before, homesteading doesn't happen in a vacuum. Life is always happening at the same time.

This is the full, raw and unfiltered story of my homesteading journey, and how I've gained so much more than a pantry full of food along the way.

Click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to read more or check it out here >> https://thehouseandhomestead.com/how-it-started-how-its-going
...

74 5

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal