ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) — As food prices go up, and aide programs, like the temporary pandemic SNAP benefits, go down, people might search beyond the grocery store to find ways to afford fresh produce.
President of Stan’s Garden Center Josh Skarzenski says people have been turning to home gardening for years.
“In the last few years, even pre-Covid, vegetable gardening has been on the rise. Home gardening has been seeing an uptick for a long time now, so much to the point we don’t even know how much to increase or grow every year,” Skarzenski said.
Stan’s Garden Center has already seen customers looking to grow their vegetables, but it’s still too early to start an outside veggie garden, and it’s especially too early for tomatoes.
“”So, timing is critical. It’s crucial. I have the beginning of the tomatoes. This is what a tomato looks like before it gets planted for our large three gallon pot. It’s way too early to have tomatoes ready because you won’t be able to put them in till mid- May. They’re very fast growers. So timing, preparation, schedule is paramount when you’re getting your home garden going,” Skarzenski said.
It seems that growing your own food is valuable in more than just one way.
“I truly believe that there’s a large portion of home gardening that is gratifying, satisfying, that you started this, you nurtured it, you created it and brought it to your table,” Skarzenski said.
Our own Ariana Moyer has an indoor home garden. She picked up growing plants as a hobby. From the beginning of the process to where she is know, she’s proud of what she has accomplished and has seen an impact on her finances.
“So I found some lights and it’s been doing really well so far. I harvested my own lettuce the other day and got to make a salad out of something I grew. It’s very rewarding. . . so being able to kind of plan things out better. They just grow. I harvest them when I need to. It’s been helping a lot, and I feel like it’s definitely cut down on that fresh produce I need to buy because I have it right at home,” Moyer said.