Photo courtesy of Kami Stafford pipersdreamweaver.com

Inexpensive Sources of Food

Throughout this site, I have stressed the importance of wholesome foods. I suggest foods that are available from grocery stores, and making use of such things as farmer's markets, when and where they are available. There are some lesser-known sources of inexpensive and wholesome foods too. These are all, as far as I know, non-profit organizations. This is not outdated or unwanted food, but rather food purchased by these organizations in bulk, and distributed through a network which utilizes a great deal of volunteer help. The cost savings are passed on to the purchaser.

Plant a Garden

The most straightforward method to get the absolutely freshest food possible, while at the same time providing yourself with exercise, fresh air, and sunshine, as well as to lower the use of petroleum-based fuels in getting it to you, is to obtain it from your own vegetable garden. Personally, I prefer to use hand tools, such as spades, hoes, and rakes. I fertilize with a combination of commercially-produced potash and composted coffee grounds. As I have a near-infestation-level of ladybugs, insect pests are not a problem in the garden.

Pollination can be a problem, with Honey bee die-off causing the disappearing honeybee, as well as ordinances against keeping honeybees in many cities and towns. There are other options, including ground-dwelling bees, such as bumblebees or Pollinator Paradise. I purchased a small Garden Kit from Pollinator Paradise several years ago. I have a few fruit trees, but I see these unmistakable blue-and-black Blue Orchard Bees, Osmia lignaria, ordinarily used to pollinate fruit trees, merrily pollinating the peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs my garden.

Cold frames are a way to extend your growing season. The cold frame can be kept warm with manure in the bottom of it, or with a greenhouse cover on top of it. Such things are available online. I have found a source for a kit at Gardeners.com, and directions on how to make your own from what you have or can buy at any lumber yard at Build a Cold Frame in Your Garden. I will make a disclaimer that I have not as yet either ordered or tried to build or use one of these. I plan to this summer or fall, and will update this site accordingly. I do know that my grandparents kept coldframes which supplied them with fresh vegetables year-around in southern Missouri (USA).

Gardening does not have to be an expensive hobby, and you can do as much of it or as little as you like, so long as you have even a small backyard - or even a window box. Of course, if you want to do more, a larger back yard or access to a garden plot, such as you may find in a community garden area will be required.

Angel Food Ministries

Angel Food Ministries, is a nondenominational ministry which distributes food at or in conjunction with Christian churches of many denominations. Attendance at these churches is not mandatory, nor is the profession of any spiritual belief or practice required for participation. There is no income requirement for participation. Payment in the form of cash, money orders, and food stamps is accepted.

Angel Food Ministries

Angel Food ministries distribute boxes of food, which would cost between about $45 and $70 to purchase in a retail grocery store, depending on the exact month, the area, and which grocery stores you are comparing. I have personally checked out this organization, and they are "for real", and not any sort of scam or fraud. This is real food for real people!

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Are there similar programs in your area that you would like to see on this site. Contact me if you would like them considered for inclusion. Please include a web page and e-mail address for a contact for the organization.

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