3 WAYS TO GROW YOUR OWN FOOD ON A STUDENT BUDGET
With supermarkets being a bit of a nightmare at the moment, and sourcing fresh and affordable vegetables becoming a lot harder, there’s no better time than now than to start growing your own food. Whether you’ve got an entire garden at home or just a sunny window in your room, you can learn to grow sustainable
and nutritional food. To help get you started, we’ve teamed up with Farmwall
to show you three simple ways to grow your own vegetables on a student-friendly budget.
1. Grow your own microgreens
Microgreens are tiny vegetable greens picked in an early stage of their growth, which makes them not only incredibly tasty, but a highly nutritious source of food. By sprinkling them over salads, or in sandwiches and soups, you can add a little something extra to any meal, and your body (and bank account) will thank you.
Microgreens are perfectly suited to student life – super low maintenance, quick to grow and they require little space to thrive. All you need is a tray, seeds (double check the packet or have a quick Google to check that they can be eaten as a microgreen), a little bit of space in the sun and some soil. You can usually get trays from your local nursery for free, but reusable plastic food containers will do the job as well. To get started, follow the steps below:
- Fill a tray with soil and flatten it out so that it’s spread evenly.
- Sprinkle seeds generously in rows.
- Spray the seeds with water so they know to germinate! Use a spray bottle or flick water over the soil with your hands.
- Blackout the seeds by covering the tray. Use a chopping board, pot lid, or something similar.
- Spray the seeds daily with water. Keep the soil moist but not soaked.
- After a few days, your seeds should have germinated. Remove the cover and expose to the light.
- Give your greens around a week to grow their first two leaves – that’s when you know they are ready.
- Now you can harvest what you need by cutting at the root of the plant with a pair of scissors. Avoid taking the roots out.
- Sprinkle straight onto food and enjoy!
- Once all your microgreens have been harvested, your soil will make great compost for the garden.
2. Re-grow your vegetables
Surprisingly, quite a few plants can be re-grown on their own if you give them just two things - sunlight and a bit of water. Rather than having to purchase pricey vegetables, why not try to grow them yourself for an easy and affordable way of keeping the fridge fully stocked. Start small with plants such as basil, spring onion or coriander and before you know it, you could have a whole home-grown veggie patch. Check out some step-by-step instructions on how to grow your own variety of vegetables here
3. Sprout some alfalfa
Alfalfa sprouts are no doubt the poster-child plant for sprouts, but they are just one of many seeds you can sprout in a jar. Sprouting is the process of a seed germinating and getting ready to grow. Since sprouts are so young, they are super nutrient dense and a great addition to any meal. Try sprouting mung beans, chickpeas or even lentils. All you need is a glass jar, seeds, muslin cloth, an elastic band and a small bowl. You can pick up seeds from your local bulk foods store, such as The Source
and have sprouts ready within a week. Try these guides here
on how to start your sprouting.