Growing Your Own Food Is The Best Diet Hack For Singles
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As the trend grows into a sub-culture, and maybe even a lifestyle in some years, it brings home the importance of basic skills sets. We look at some methods any individual can employ to grow their own food at home, with emphasis on cost effectiveness, time, and space. Read on to find out how you can get that elusive green thumb.

A person looking to grow their own food at home will need to consider a number of factors before deciding on the method(s) they’re going to use. The first is the space you intend to use for the project. The size of the grow space is proportional to the yield. A number of other factors depend on the space you choose, such as sunlight exposure, humidity, and air circulation. 

A grow setup can be considered even if you're short on space, thanks to hydroponics. This technique helps grow plants without soil in a water based medium, using substrates such as coconut coir, perlite or vermiculite. The plants receive their nourishment from nutrient solutions and/or powders that are added to the water. Hydroponic setups have long been touted for the ability to produce a large yield in small space. This yield is achieved by stacking or layering the setups, which are densely populated to begin with. Hydroponic plants also grow larger and faster compared to their soil bound counterparts since nutrient absorption is much easier in a fluid medium.

Hydroponic setups intended for home use may be in the form of interconnected pipes (often stacked) with holes drilled out for the plants. These pipes are attached to a reservoir that houses the nutrient solution, which is circulated throughout the setup via a pump. The plants may be held in place using mesh cups or suspended using tight tolerances. The water needs to be changed every two to three weeks, and the nutrient mix added every seven to ten days. This low maintenance routine makes the system easy to maintain.

The nutrients used are inexpensive and have long shelf lives. One tin of the nutrient mix can last several years. Almost any vegetable (except root vegetables), herbs and some fruits can be grown in a hydroponic system. Herbs are usually grown using a DWC (Deep Water Culture) system, where the plants are kept on styrofoam sheet suspended in a tub of water. This water is aerated using an air stone. The container used for the setup must be opaque to mitigate the risk of algae growth. 

The hydroponic system may be supplemented with vermiculture leachate and plant-derived nutrients for an organic yield. This requires more time and effort with regard to water changes and pump maintenance. Both systems are easy to make, with free guides available on the interwebs. You can also purchase pre-built setups. 

Growing mushrooms is an easy way to enliven your diet. Fungi have long been celebrated for their nutritional makeup, high in fiber and nutrients, while being devoid of fat and cholesterol. They are also surprisingly easy to grow and have great yield. You can get multiple harvests from a single bucket or bag used to grow the fungi. Almost any edible mushroom can be grown at home if you have can maintain the correct temperature and substrate. Oyster, King Trumpet, and button mushrooms are good options to start. A mushroom grow setup doesn't need take up too much space; a cool corner of your house will do just fine. 

You first need to source a starter, usually in the form of spores, or spawn (spores that have developed a mycelial network, great place to start). Inoculate the substrate with the starter and place the mix in a plastic bag or a tub, then wait for the mycelial network to spread. The bag or container needs to be slashed, or holed out before you add the inoculated substrate for misting water, and for the fruiting bodies to grow out. The setup needs minimal care: just a daily misting of water. The mushrooms will start appearing between day one and four once the mixture is inoculated. Wait two weeks for them to mature. After harvesting, this mixture can be flushed multiple times depending on the variety and substrate used. Most setups will yield for a month, if not more. Mushroom grow kits are also available online and are highly recommended for beginners.