The Top Eleven Easiest Foods to Grow

by in Fruits and Veggies, Gardening, Kitchen Cost Cutters June 23, 2008

lazygardener.jpgWith the rising cost of gas, the price of food is just going to continue to rise as well.

For those of us in Washington experiencing “Juneuary” the yield of crops in this area may also be rather disappointing, and therefore result in an additional increase in local produce costs this summer.

Growing food that doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance is a simple way to cut organic costs in your kitchen.

Whether you are lazy or you are simply very busy and searching for “efficient” gardening tips, choosing the easiest fruits and vegetables to grow will save you time and money in the long run.

The key to starting your first garden is to choose foods that practically grow on their own. Pick a sunny patch, water daily, and sit back and watch them grow. Really, if I can grow this stuff- then anyone can grow this stuff!

The Eleven Laziest (er… efficient) Foods to Grow:

  • Garlic-Grows as easy in a sunny pot garden as the ground. A renowned antimicrobial agent and cardiovascular herb, garlic has a multitude of medicinal properties.
  • Carrots-The beta carotene in carrots is best absorbed when they are cooked. Eating cooked carrots is therefore a better form of antioxidants than in their raw form. Research shows that beta carotene may be protective for those with cataracts and macular degeneration. Beta Carotene may also prevent healthy people from developing these visual disturbances.
  • Tomatoes-Enjoy fresh off the vine or canned in to your own homemade organic spaghetti sauce. The lycopene in tomatoes actually become more bioavailable with cooking, or processing.
  • Potatoes– Harvest fresh as needed. Be sure to eat the peel of these organic potatoes! The peel contains vitamins and fiber to balance your blood sugar and keep your energy stable.
  • Strawberries-Best to grow these yourself as non-organic strawberries are on the dirty dozen, the notorious top twelve dirtiest produce that should be purchased organically.
  • Radishes– Not just for rabbits! Radishes are essentially a “free food” meaning they have almost no calories. So go ahead-enjoy them with a little home made organic cucumber ranch dip! I won’t tell anyone.
  • Cucumbers– Are sure to keep you cool this summer. Mix up some refreshing ice water with fresh slices of cucumbers, mint, and lemon.
  • Beets-A liver cleansing, blood building food. Enjoy as your carbohydrate side dish in lieu of bread and more fattening carbohydrate choices. Grate in to salads, roast with olive oil, or juice with carrots for an invigorating pick me up.
  • Nasturtiums-The flowers and leaves add a beautiful and spicy addition to summer salads. Plant in hangers on your decks for décor and to protect the leaves from slugs.
  • Green beans– You can easily train these to grow anywhere! If you have a small back patio train them to grow up your fence using bean stakes, or make a green bean teepee!
  • Squash the #1 laziest food to grow! Vegetables like zucchinis, pumpkins, and other summer squashes practically grow themselves! Watch out and make sure they have plenty of room to spread out! Root vegetables and squash make great side dishes for your meals. A fabulous way to keep weight down is to avoid eating empty calories like bread and fill up on healthier sources of carbohydrates like these starchy vegetables.

The easiest way to learn about what grows well in your area is to start visiting your local farmers market. Ask questions (and of course buy something while you are there). You can then learn to grow your garden accordingly. Farmer’s Markets are a great teaching opportunity to share with your kids!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table. Feel free to share you favorite lazy foods to grow in the comments.

~Dr. Nicole

Naturopathic Physician

  1. Erin Happycamper June 23, 2008 at 10:11 pm Reply

    I can’t wait until I have my own porch to grow this on…..

    you just sold me on gardening, and lazy gardening is even better.


  2. Thanks for the list. . .gonna start working on my “porch garden” soon!

  3. These tips are great. I grow my own tomatoes and have for years now – as well as cukes. Basil and a bunch of other “expensive” herbs site well in small pots in the backyard too. I actuall started an avocado tree, but that may take a while:)

    These ideas are great – and I actually have a patch just cleared to give them a shot. Great post Nicole~

  4. Hi Erin- can’t wait to see you in action with your garden!

    Hi Andrea- Let me know how your porch garden works out. Good luck 😀

    Hi Benny-I am so proud of you for growing all that. How impressive! I think growing your own herbs should be mandatory for everyone. Actually- you know what? I think I will just post an “order” that everyone grows herbs and learns to use them as medicines. LOL

    I am growing an avocado tree too. Unless you have a hothouse it is tough to get them to actually fruit, but I will be writing up on how to do it so that kids can learn about avocados and how good for you they are!

  5. It’s good to see that others have gardening on their minds. I planted a small garden this year. Mostly because I was tired of paying almost 3 dollars for one bell pepper, and almost the same amount for a pound of tomatoes.

    So, I have tomato plants almost chest high now,and they are loaded already with green tomatoes,and lots of blooms! I have yellow neck squash plants that are covered in blooms too. I planted cucumbers, bell peppers, banana peppers, and string beans also. My garden is growing beautifully, and I have enjoyed playing in it.

  6. I live in an apartment but still manage to grow tomatoes, from this list I may try beans next.

  7. Hi Homespunhealer! I am so proud of you for growing all that. Wow and peppers too. I hear those are tough to grow.

    Hi WDC- Thanks for proving my point! Even a little space can grow some fresh food. Fresher is better. Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment. 😀

  8. […] your own food is not only rewarding, but also is a cost-effective way to provide your family with fresh organic […]

  9. […] onions, garlic, and so forth because they are so simple to grow as I mentioned in my article “The Top Eleven Laziest Foods to Grow.” If you don’t want to grow your own, make your kids do it by “Planting an Organic Kids […]

  10. […] book, Organic Food Gardening Beginners Manual is an excellent resource. Whether you are a beginner or just want some advice on your existing garden, you will find step-by-step instructions and some […]

  11. I have been rubbing greens and then smelling and small tastes to see what is edible in my garden. So far I have found puslane and three other greens to make pesto with. I have eating this all along now. Have you heard of Lamb’s Quarter? Makes a good salad and cooked greens.

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