Frugal Living 

Home Grown Vegetables Taste Better

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Heirloom Homegrown TomatoesWhen my wife and started out deck/patio garden, we did it for two reasons. First, we thought it would save us a little money on the vegetables we enjoy eating. That’s how we chose the vegetables that we did: tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and some spices. Second, we thought it would be fun and therapeutic to tend a garden from time to time. So far, it’s been pretty easy and it’s an enjoyable time.

What we didn’t anticipate was how absolutely delicious and authentic home grown vegetables are. Without a doubt, home grown vegetables taste better than vegetables bought from the grocery store. While the jury is still out as to whether it’s better financially (it probably will be), I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that our home grown tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants taste far better than the ones you buy from the store.

That monster of a tomato to the right looks just like our tomatoes. They’re called heirloom tomatoes (we have regular beefsteaks and romas) but I don’t have any cut up tomatoes to show you guys so I chose that little monster. Our tomatoes, on the inside, look just as jacked up as that one! (but delicious!)

More Flavorful!

What’s funny is that I had never eaten a home grown green pepper before and had no idea they actually tasted peppery. I’ve alway had grocery store peppers, which are grown on huge farms with no love and little attention, and they basically tasted like water to me. Tomatoes at the were a little different, they tasted like tomatoes but they don’t taste anything like those we’ve grown ourselves.

Healthier Too!

Some experts are saying that organically grow tomatoes have more nutrients per pound than those grown with the help of fertilizers. I buy that, the fertilizers help the plant grow larger and faster but probably don’t do much for the chemical composition. As a result, you get a lower nutrient per pound ratio but probably the same nutrient per tomato. Anyway, based on the difference in flavor, I bet there’s some truth to what those experts say. You might pay more per pound but you’re probably getting more nutrients (and obviously less pesticides).

Everyone Is Doing It!

One of the surprising things I’ve learned since writing about gardening is the sheer number of people who do it. Very few of our friends garden outside of a couple pepper plants and some spices, we simply don’t live in an area that’s very conducive to gardening, but so many readers have left comments and suggestions and I’m very thankful for all the advice you’ve given us. If you’re on the fence about gardening, give it a try. It’s really easy and there are a ton of resources on the web and at your local library.

(Photo: lifeontheedge)

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “Home Grown Vegetables Taste Better”

  1. JB says:

    We started doing home gardening for veggies and fruits too and they are indeed more flavorful. We waited until we moved out of the city before we started, taking to heed the study that showed an increase in the level of toxins found in veggies grown in the city due to the pollutants they absorb.

  2. perry says:

    I partially agree with this statement, but I honestly believe this has also a little to do with the placebo effect. If I handed you two tomatoes you would have absolutely no idea which was organic and which wasn’t…

  3. jim says:

    It probably does, that and the fact that we grew it so we have a vested interest… but i’ll give you one of my tomatoes and you can judge for yourself.

    (our aren’t necessarily “organic” as much as they are just home grown)

  4. shawna says:

    I’m in California and have a big patio/deck in my apartment and had been considering trying to grow a few things on it. Glad I came across this – it convinced me!

  5. grover says:

    We live in an apartment with a small balcony. For two years now, we have grown our own herbs, things like basil, cilantro and mint. This year we added baby salad greens (so easy, just water properly and you can grow a salad each week) and small peppers.

    Tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers had less success. With pots & planters, the soil did not hold enough water.

    But our mojitos have the freshest mint around and our pastas and sandwiches are topped with delicious basil, so we’re happy!

  6. What a great outcome for the Great Deck/Patio Garden Project!

    We may not be able to tell the difference between grocery-store regular & organic tomatoes, but ya sure can tell the difference between grocery-store and vine-ripened in your own backyard! 🙂

  7. Ben says:

    The best ever tasting peas, leeks, cabbages and onions I’ve ever eaten have been the ones I’ve grown myself. The natural sugars in vegetables start to deteriorate after harvesting. Hence the flavour decreases over time. Also the vast majority of commercial vegetable crops are hybrids designed to crop “all at once” as opposed to heirloom varieties that have a longer cropping season. I’m not an expert, only someone who has been dabbling in vegetable growing as a hobby.

    I’m in the process of setting up a fairly large vegetable in my backyard and I’m going to document the effects on my household food budget. I do know that last year I bought a punnet of leek seedlings for $3.50 – the prices quoted are in Australian dollars, and they have been a fairly low maintenance plant that has yielded a harvest of just over 20 leeks during the past 14 months. Buying the same leeks at retail prices would have been in the area of $35.00 (ave price $1.75). Two weekends ago I saw giant leeks at $5.95 each in one of my local supermarkets.

    IMHO I believe that growing vegetables and herbs at home is a developing trend. “Victory Gardens” for a modern era.


  8. RetiredAt47 says:

    Homegrown veggies are the absolute best! I’ve been gardening for years, but still get a little thrill out of harvesting my own salad for dinner. There’s this feeling of “I grew this” that can’t be matched.

    I think one of the reasons that homegrown is better (aside from the whole freshness issue) is that we can grow varieties specifically for taste, without regard to the whole storage and transportation issue that the big farms have. And did you know that many large-scale tomato producers pick tomatoes before they are ripe so that they can later be chemically ripened at the right time? No wonder ours taste better!

  9. Bob says:

    Interesting to see many who container garden with moderate success. I really love the taste of vine ripened tomatoes that I couldn’t get from store bought. I tried growing my own, but due to lack of good soil conditions and an area of my property lacking adequate sunshine, I tried container gardening with poor results. Then I stumbled on (now here comes the commercial) the Earthbox, Wow what a difference. This year I had a bumper crop of the tastiest tomatoes. The best part is I could position them where they got the best sunshine, and they were easy to grow. All I had to do was use the recommended foolproof watering system. Other vegetables can also be grown in these boxes. The drawback is that these boxes are pricey, but the good news is they will probably last forever.

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