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Community Comment: Try your hand at growing your own food

In this climate it is easy to grow an abundance of herbs for drying and cooking all year round.
You can grow a lot of food in small spaces according to farmer and Optimist community columnist Mike Schneider. Flavia Morlachetti/moment/Getty Images

I love this time of year! The weather, the smell of the salt air, the lush scenery of gardens and fields, but I especially love the local food that has and will continue to adorn our grocery store and market shelves.

I probably ate 10 bags of B.C. cherries over a couple of weeks. The prices for these delicacies ranged from $9.99 a pound early in the season and finished off at around $4.99 a pound.

If you are addicted to cherries like I am, this can be an expensive indulgence.

Recently, the local raspberry and blackberry crops have been given prime shelf space during harvest. I have noticed that prices seem super high this season. When I see a pint of blackberries on sale for $6.99 I ask myself if I should spend that money elsewhere. It seems to me that this is roughly $2 more than I paid last year. Inflation has been difficult to deal with and the rise in interest rates to combat inflation have created their own problems affecting food supply chain issues and increased input charges for farmers, which ultimately get passed on to us. Although inflation numbers have been waning of late, we are not out of the woods yet.

Guelph University along with several other Canadian universities recently released their Canada Food Price report, which details the many causes of food price increases. The universities had predicted food price increases for the year ending September 2022 of five to seven per cent but actual increases were 10.3 per cent. The forecast for this fiscal year shows across the board increases for the coming year.

So how do we help combat these increases?

I come from a long line of homesteader types who were never shy to can, dry and pickle. Growing your own food is certainly a help and for me, a fun hobby. I can’t recall the last time I bought rosemary, oregano, sage or garlic.

In this climate it is easy to grow an abundance of herbs for drying and cooking all year round.

Try container gardening on your balcony, deck or yard. You can grow a lot of food in a small space.