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The Rising Costs of Food for a Military Family (or where do I plant my garden?)

One of the best military benefits we discovered after joining the Air Force way back when was the commissary! The food costs were truly a savings and became even more of a benefit as our family grew in numbers. We truly miss having one close by in our current location. You should see the looks on the faces of the commissary staff at Selfridge Air National Guard Base when we pull our four (4) heaping to the top carts (that is the amount we can get into one 1999 Cherokee) to the checkout counter during our quarterly visit.

With the current energy prices going up, the larger impact on some is the resultant increase in food prices. We are starting to see large increases at local stores in some items and one method to reduce those costs is to have a garden. It can be as small as a "deck tomato plant in a bucket" to a large vegetable garden with multiple varieties of plants.

We have a fairly decent garden that we have planted each year after settling down in Michigan. During active duty we had small garden plots while stationed at Reese AFB Texas, Scott AFB, Illinois and Hurlburt, Florida. The one in Texas was in our "alley" behind our yard, the one in Illinois was in the corner of our backyard and Florida was behind our fence (out of the way of the kids giganto swing!).

We enjoyed each one and while sometimes not very successful we enjoy our garden workouts and seeing the products of our labors. Why not put in a small garden and see the benefits? That tomato plant or two on the deck will produce enough fruit to help reduce the cost of a salad. If you freeze some they can contribute to a great spaghetti sauce in the winter time when the tomato prices go way up! Besides we all need the exercise from the bending, hoeing, and other activities in a garden. In addition, the kids get to see the fun of gardening and you can teach them a financial lesson too!

Have a great summer and happy gardening!

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