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Gardening

Andre the Farmer: Maximizing all your resources in gardening

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Hey guys, it's Andre the farmer, and I wanted to write today about making the most of what you have. I guess you could say I'm a domestic forager. My wife thinks I'm a bit of a pack rat when I'm really not.

I just don't like to waste things.

Nothing brings me greater satisfaction than completing a project and not having to go to the hardware store for a single item. I just feel there are opportunities to save money and maximize our resources all around us every day. That's what I like to incorporate into my gardening. So today, let's talk about applying those principles to gardening and, more specifically, food production.

There are a couple of food items I refuse to buy, and so can you. Whether you have 20 acres, a window, or a grow light; you too can grow simple, easy foods at home. Plants need water, soil, nutrients, and light, and three of those are free. Soil can be purchased or foraged. Seed starters can be made out of an empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls (to learn how... check out my YouTube channel); you can also use egg cartons, water bottles, soda bottles, and other household containers.

Plants & Seeds

Once we have soil and containers, it's time to plant... so where do we buy plants and seeds? That's the best part; we can get plants and seeds right from our kitchen. I'm only going to mention a few of the things you can grow from your kitchen, but the list is quite extensive, and don't be afraid to experiment.

Peas

The easiest is probably peas. Yes, dried peas. Peas sitting in your pantry are viable. Soak them in water for a few hours, remove the floaters, and plant the rest, they will germinate a couple of days, and you could have peas in as little as possible six weeks.

Ginger & Tumeric

Two of my favorite things to grow are ginger and turmeric, and while you might not have them lying around the house, they are super easy to grow from pieces you buy at the supermarket. Just look for organic or make sure it has not been sprayed with an inhibitor. Quarter size pieces can be planted in a pot or the ground and harvested in the fall once the plants start to die. Even the leaves can be used to make tea or season soups and curries. For videos on ginger and turmeric planting, harvesting, and processing, follow me on Instagram or TikTok @andrethefarmer.

One of the best things about ginger and turmeric is that they are what I call front yard plants. In that, they are so pretty and ornamental looking that you could grow them in your front yard, and no one would know you are growing food. Each fall, you can harvest ginger and turmeric, and if you leave any pieces in the ground by accident or on purpose, it will regrow the following season.

Vegetables

You can also grow many vegetables that you use from the grocery store with nothing but the scraps you would normally throw away. Potatoes can be grown from potato skins. Peppers and tomatoes can be grown from seeds in the fruits you buy. And things like lettuce, kale, and bok choy can be regrown just from the ends that most of us throw out.

Dr. Baptiste - or rather, Andre the Farmer - says there are endless things you can grow in Central Florida all year round. So for more ideas and how-to's, check out  at #andrethefarmer on Instagram, Tiktok and YouTube.

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