Growing Your Own Organic Produce: Start With These 10 Foods
Updated: Sep 25, 2021
Maybe you're considering going organic, or you want to put some more healthy and nutritious food on the table. Or maybe you're just looking for a way to save cash and cut back on grocery costs. Either way, this is the post for you — we've compiled a list of 10 crops that are not only easy to grow, but taste great too.
The list is based on a variety of factors from what I've learned over the years, like the difficulty level of growing each type. The key is to find something you like. Pick something that you like, and you're more likely to grow it again and again... and once you've grown these 10 foods, you can then add other things to your garden too!
10 Easy To Grow Organic Foods
Now on to the list...
1. Cabbage - This is a very easy plant to grow. You can grow it from seeds or you can also start with a cabbage you bought at the grocery store, and it will grow back! They are called "sauerkraut". That is the easiest way to get started.
Taste: You can eat both the white and green parts of the cabbage. Green cabbage is great for salads and stir-fries or even as a side dish. The white part of the cabbage is good for soups as well, or you can just grate it up for coleslaw.
2. Carrots - Carrots are very easy to grow in your garden or containers. A great first food crop if you're new to gardening. Be sure to get some quality organic seeds from your local gardening store.
Taste: The best part of the carrot is the root, which you can use for a long list of dishes, salads, smoothies, cakes, etc. You can eat the tops too if you want, but I'd recommend only using them in making juice or adding to a salad or stir-fry.
3. Cauliflower - This is another plant that is easy to grow. Cauliflower can grow in the garden or in containers.
Taste: Many people like cauliflower raw, although it's not my favorite thing to eat. You can also cook it as a side, or make cauliflower bread. My favorite way to cook cauliflower is by dipping the head into melted butter and then lightly coat it with seasoned bread crumbs and bake it in the oven until golden brown. Yum.
4. Lettuce - This is a perennial crop so you can plant it and let it grow back every year. I've also heard of people growing lettuce in containers with success. It grows well in warmer weather and likes a bit more water than most plants. You can take the lettuce leaves and eat them, throwing away the rest of the plant, or you can grow it for the roots too like carrots.
Taste: Lettuce is great in salads or as a wrap for any sandwich filling. Kale is a type of lettuce and my favorite thing to do with it is to saute it in some butter and garlic salt. Yum!
5. Onions - Onions are one of the easiest vegetables to grow, provided that you have the right growing conditions, which are: full sun and good drainage. You can eat the tops if you grow onions in containers, although onions can be planted as seedlings too and then moved into larger containers.
Taste: Onions taste good raw in salads, and also cooked in all kinds of dishes. I like to slice them thin and add them to sandwiches or soup. You can also bake them as a side dish for meats too.
6. Radishes - Radishes are another easy-to-grow plant. They like full sun and also well-drained soil. You can buy them as seedlings at your local gardening store.
Taste: Radishes are great raw, you can slice them up into salads or put a few on your sandwich. I also love them dipped in ranch dressing.
7. Tomatoes - I love the taste of fresh tomatoes so I growthem in my garden, and also in containers. Tomatoes need to be staked so they don't fall over and also need good sunlight, although there are some that will grow well in partial shade.
Taste: Everyone loves tomatoes right? They make a great side dish, or a great addition to any salad, although they are also good just sliced up on sandwiches or burgers too.
8. Turnips - These are another easy plant to grow, although they are grown more for their roots than their leaves, which can be eaten if you boil or steam them first. You can also grow turnips as a sweet vegetable, which is how my family likes to eat them.
Taste: Again, turnips tops can be eaten, but many people will boil or steam them first to soften the leaves. Turnips are good raw and also good cooked. They make a great side dish or vegetable addition to any meal.
9. Herbs - You can grow any type of herb, whether you have an herb garden or have them planted in containers around your house. Grow your own seasonings!
Taste: Use fresh herbs in season for flavor on sandwiches and salads or in soups etc. You can freeze your herbs too for later use.
10. Peas - Peas are easy to grow, although they are a cool-weather vegetable so if you live in a warm climate you will likely have to grow them indoors. You can get them as seedlings or plant them in your garden and then transplant them into containers or pots.
Taste: Peas are good in salads and as a side dish or main dish. You can also cook peas used for soup and they are good roasted too.
What about fruits?
11. Raspberries - Raspberries are another easy-to-grow fruit and a great plant for container gardening. It needs full sun and well-drained soil. You can get raspberries as dwarf plants that will produce more fruit if you live in a cold climate, but I've never had any luck with them indoors.
Taste: Raspberries are great to add to salads or fresh fruit cups. They really do taste best when fresh, so give them a try. My favorite way to eat raspberries is in the summer months in a nice fruit cup with some honey and maybe a little cream cheese.
12. Strawberries - Strawberries can be grown in your yard or container gardens, but you have to give them full sun and good drainage. Strawberries have shallow roots so it's important that the containers you use for them have lots of drainage holes.
Taste: I love strawberries as fresh fruit and in smoothies, but I don't think they are too tasty as frozen fruit. My favorite way to eat strawberries is by dipping them into chocolate, especially after they have been washed off and are very dry. They can also be made into jam or jelly if you want to preserve them.
13. Blueberries - These are other easy-to-grow fruit that can be grown in containers and in the ground. They are yet another plant that likes full sun and well-drained soil. My dad has had good luck growing blueberries in the strawberry patch, but he makes sure to plant them in a different area than the strawberries, mainly because they like different soil conditions.
Taste: Blueberries are one of my favorite berries to eat fresh or frozen. You can also cook with them, make pies or jams!
14. Apples - So, you can grow apples in your back yard and if you have enough room you can plant them in containers too. Obviously, you will need to give them good sunlight and well-drained soil. You can get dwarf apple trees to save room if you live in a smaller space or don't have an apple tree already planted in your yard.
Taste: Apples are delicious whether eaten fresh or cooked too. They can be made into jam or jelly, and even if you don't have a tree, you can still grow your own apples at home. You can also use them when making pie.
15. Peaches - Peaches are another easy-to-grow fruit, although they do need some support if they are grown in containers since they are heavy producers and will fall over otherwise. They need full sun so make sure yours has those if you're planning on growing them indoors.
Taste: Just like the other fruits listed here, peaches are delicious whether eaten fresh or cooked too. They can be made into jam or jelly, and even if you don't have a tree, you can still grow your own peaches at home. You can also use them when making pie.
16. Apricots - Apricots are another fruit that isn't too hard to grow outdoors since they will tolerate cold climates well. You can also get them as dwarf trees if you have a small yard and live in a colder climate. You will need full sun though, and well-drained soil.
Taste: Just like the other fruits listed here, apricots are delicious whether eaten fresh or cooked too. They can be made into jam or jelly, and even if you don't have a tree, you can still grow your own apricots at home.
17. Gooseberries - Gooseberries are a small yellow berry that many people aren't familiar with, but they are delicious when baked into a pie or made into jam or jelly. The name can also be pronounced as "gooseberries" if you want.
Taste: Gooseberries are delicious whether eaten fresh or cooked too. They can be made into jam or jelly, and even if you don't have a tree, you can still grow your own gooseberries at home. You can also use them when making pie.
What to keep in mind when growing organic produce?
1. You can grow your own organic produce even if you don't live in the country or have a farm. If you live in an apartment or condo, you can still grow most of these crops indoors.
2. You will need to give most of your organic produce lots of sun and well-drained soil so that they won't be drowned by too much water if it starts raining at some point.
3. If you choose to grow your own vegetables, make sure they have lots of room to grow and be happy. Even if you don't have a lot of space, try to hit the minimum requirements and get the best orchard or garden possible.
4. You will need to water them thoroughly so that they are good and hydrated while growing big, but once you cut off the tops, they should be able to go with a little less water since their root system will take over then.
5. If you are growing your own organic food and don't have a lot of space, try planting in containers or pots.
6. If you grow veggies, make sure that you give them lots of room to grow and enough time to get big before harvesting, and don't pull up the plants when they are small or they won't grow as big.
7. Speaking of harvesting, you will need to make sure that the vines haven't been injured or damaged by the weather and that they are in full health before picking your produce.
8. You will also need to put up different kinds of protection for your fruits and veggies while they are growing so that they won't be eaten by animals. For example, make sure your strawberries have netting over them at all times so that birds don't eat them.
9. If you live in an urban area, make sure there are no nearby areas that animals get into and start ravaging your organic produce since they may not have the best of vegetables. You need to keep pests away from your organic food as well, so you will want to use a good bug spray or natural pest repellent.
10. If you live in an area where the ground freezes, but your pots or containers don't, you can still grow some of these vegetables in pots even though they won't be organic. You will just need to make sure that the pot is well-drained and has enough room for watering and sunlight.
11. As mentioned, you can grow tomatoes and cucumbers even if you don't live in a place that has a lot of sunlight. Follow the same rules as other crops listed here as well, but don't worry about giving them too much water or sunlight since they are adapted to different climates anyway.
12. You can get a great organic garden going even if you don't have a lot of time. Just start with easy crops that can grow quickly and then move on to harder ones as you become more experienced.
What gardening tools will you need?
1. You will need a garden hose because you will want to water your plants for them to grow strong and healthy. When you water, make sure that the soil is well-drained and that it isn't too wet so that the plants won't drown in water or be pestered by insects. Or, you can make your life easier and choose to use our Automatic Watering Pump instead!
2. You will also want to buy a few shovels since you will need one to dig into the soil and one that is stronger to handle heavier objects. You will also want to make sure that you have a trowel or two.
3. If you are growing your own vegetables, you will also want to buy a hoe so that you can loosen the soil before adding fertilizer or seedlings. Tilling the soil is another good idea so that it can become easier for plants to grow.
4. If you are growing an organic garden, you will also need to get a rake. You may also want to buy a shovel and rake combination since they are more useful than separate tools for different jobs.
5. A tarp can be used to put up over the plants in a nice garden since it is waterproof and protects the plants from any kind of weather or damage.
6. You will also need a ladder if you are growing plants that need to be high up in order to get sun or grow big, like tomatoes and cucumbers.
7. You will need some tools for pruning your plants too and some herbicide if you want to protect your flowers from pests or weeds.
8. A good garden hat can keep your head safe from any damage or diseases in the garden.
9. A pair of gardening gloves is always useful and you can get them with a lot of the same features that you would find in a mechanic's set, such as leather palms and finger protection.
10. Finally, if you are growing organic produce, you will need safety goggles to keep harmful pesticides and other pests away from your eyes.
Tips for growing organic food:
1. Be careful when pruning. Don't damage the plant too much as you can destroy most of it if you do and make sure that all the roots are still intact in order to make the plant grow again.
2. Choose a spot for your garden where there is at least six hours of sunlight per day but you will also want to check with an organic gardening expert before planting anything specific so that you can plan accordingly.
3. If you have a lot of bugs, you may want to install insect or spider mesh over your flowers at night as well since they eat your plants.
4. Plants like sunflowers and alstroemeria are also pest-free and don't need much pruning or other attention if you want to grow them without a problem.
5. The one thing you will need to watch for is pests. You will need to protect your plants from insects, birds, mice, and snails so that they don't damage your crops or eat them. You can do this with netting and even some kinds of fluorescent light bug traps.
6. If you find worms damaging the roots of your plants, try a homemade natural remedy by making "worm tea" from aloe vera leaves or lemon juice and water.
7. If you live in a place where the soil freezes, you can still start an organic garden by choosing easy crops that don't need to grow very large in order to be healthy and safe for harvest.
Hope you enjoyed learning about organic farming and hope you took care of your plants so they will grow. If you need more information about the benefits of growing your own home garden, do not forget to read the following article:
Why You Should Be Growing Your Own Home Garden?