Green Thumbs Hope to Save Greenbacks

In an effort to save money, some folks are willing to give gardening a try.

Food prices climbed almost 4 percent last month, the biggest jump in more than 30 years.

Leslie Halleck of North Haven Gardens said more new faces are coming into the garden center to learn to plant vegetables so they can avoid buying them at the grocery store.

"At $8 a pound for organic mesculin mix, you can buy a packet of seed for a $1.29," Halleck said. "When you're buying organic heirloom tomatoes, they can get really pricey."

Halleck said the newcomers are buying tomato, pepper and lettuce plants to grow in their gardens. Other folks are buying herbs and small fruit bushes to harvest for their tables.

"As commodity prices go up, you're going to pay more for that organic produce," Halleck said. "You have freight, trucking, involved in that, which drives up the cost. When fuels prices go up, food prices go up. The benefit of growing in your back yard is that there is no freight, so really, you're getting base cost on that product."

Halleck said there is still time to plant tomatoes (just use started plants, not seeds) and peppers for the coming months.

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