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I'm adding an extra growing bed and a couple of growing towers to my backyard garden next year. Today, my wife reminded me why it's so important. Heck, I might even add two extra growing beds after what she just told me!

I'm almost afraid to admit this, but she was catching up on our 2010 expenses in preparation for filing our 2010 income taxes. It pained her to tell me, and it pains me to tell you, but apparently we spent $4,200 on eating out in restaurants last year! That figure is probably a little low, because I'm sure there are a few receipts I forgot to keep for our records. Ouch!

It would have been worse if we hadn't actually cut back this year. We need to cut back much more drastically in 2011.

Maybe I'll following in the footsteps of the Buster Brothers and grow food in buckets, grow bags, or something similar. They're pretty smart kids.

The commercial version of their growing bucket sells for $59 at my local hardware store and will support 4 cucumber plants. I figure 2 cucumber plants per bucket will save big bucks versus the commercial planter version. Both use "wicking" to water the plants. I like their collander version the best. It only uses 1 bucket instead of two.

And, if you really want to take this bucket system to the next level, take a look at Pete's Automatic Water Project. Pete's Project costs $66 to set up and then $6 for each bucket you want to add.

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Comment by Heather Rinaldi on January 23, 2011 at 3:47pm

Here is an equally excellent reason:  http://health.yahoo.net/news/s/nm/us_germany_dioxin

 

Growing as much food as we can is an excellent way to reduce your food prices and protect your health.  It's also good exercise, mental therapy, and tastes good!

Comment by bpearcy10 on January 23, 2011 at 4:48pm

I agree Heather.

Comment by Pat James on January 23, 2011 at 5:14pm

I was in the same boat 2 years ago. I tracked my eating out expenses and was surprised to see it was between $350 to $400 per month. I cut way back.

I'm pushing it even harder this year to eat more veggies and just a small amount of meat. Alot of those veggies I am going to grow.

Comment by Jason Kalka on January 24, 2011 at 5:48pm

That siphon system on the Buster Brother Bucket System is really nice.

Comment by Jason Kalka on January 24, 2011 at 6:10pm

The wicking system didn't make sense until I saw the Global Buckets system, maybe it was the other site's presentation, but I'll definitely buy into it now.  Thanks for showing me that one bpearcy.

Comment by Heather Rinaldi on January 24, 2011 at 7:48pm
One of my concerns...what if there turns out to be BPA, dioxin or another plastic/chemical pollutant that is leaching into your veggies from the buckets?  One of the reasons to grow our own food is too make sure it is "safe".  To me, that is one of the major reasons to use the untreated lumber raised beds.
Comment by Jason Kalka on January 24, 2011 at 7:57pm
I'm simply speaking from a concept point, Heather. The concept could easily be modified to use terracotta pots or some other water tight natural material. Heck if it works as well as they say you could use cement pipes.
Comment by bpearcy10 on January 24, 2011 at 8:36pm

The commercial planter used by the United Nations programs is supposedly made from food grade plastic. I am pretty sure they make food grade buckets.

I am going to make my strawberry beds from untreated lumber.

Comment by Heather Rinaldi on January 25, 2011 at 5:59am

I always have a bit of the skeptic when it comes to health/safety claims, etc. regarding man made petro-materials, but here is a health endorsement for the buckets:  http://www.livestrong.com/article/183959-which-plastics-are-safe-to...

 

Comment by bpearcy10 on January 25, 2011 at 10:59am
Thanks for posting the link Heather.

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