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Local food: 6 crops to plant if you want to save money

10/14/2014 08:08 EDT | Updated 12/14/2014 05:59 EST
As we celebrate the harvest here in B.C., there's more reason than ever to consider growing your own.

A new report says the drought in California could mean the price of fruits and vegetables may rise by 34 per cent in the next year.

But Claire Smith says it's easy to save money by planting a garden.

Smith is teaching a course at VanDusen Botanical Garden Wednesday evening called Maximize Nutrition from your Harvest.

First, she shared some advice with CBC Radio's The Early Edition.

6 garden crops that will save you money

1. Radishes. Smith calls these the easiest food to grow. "They'll give you instant love," she says, as long as you don't let them go to seed.

2. Peas. "You just get so much green growth out of peas and so much good food," Smith says, adding that you can eat the shoots too.

3. Pole beans. "Beans are what we teach children to grow first," she says, because the sprout quickly and are very productive.

4. Greens. Smith says kale, mesclun and mustard greens are her favourites. "I prefer the bitter greens because they are great for digestion and loaded with calcium and iron."

5. Squash. Although squash may take a while to grow, Smith says they're worth the wait. "You'll get lots of good growth out of them." 

6. Blueberries.  According to Smith, now is the time to start planting these nutrient-rich berries. "You can grow them on your patio, grow them on your balcony, or grow them out in your open yard."

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