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Best things: The freshest food
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Finding fresh produce for families to enjoy can sometimes be tough on the wallet. Anyone willing to try growing their own fruits and vegetables can save time and money. Longtime gardener Dot Moss recently shared with the Courier her top suggestions for things to grow at home.
• Fruit trees are simple to maintain. “I encourage my friends all the time to buy fruit trees when they go to a nursery and not keep buying plants in general.”
In Moss’ yard, she said, “There are fig trees, grapes, pears, kumquats, grapefruits, mulberry trees, sparkleberry bushes — all producing fruit throughout the year.”
• Tomatoes. “The easiest vegetable to grow is tomatoes. When you buy tomatoes at the grocery store or from roadside stands, they are tomatoes that have been picked green and ripened later to sell. There is no comparison to a home-grown tomato.”
If you don’t have a garden, Moss suggests growing tomatoes in a five-gallon bucket.
• Carrots are another easy vegetable to grow. Moss said she grows them every year.
• Okra is easy and produces a lot of food. “You don’t have to have but about 6 plants to produce a quart bag of fruit over a week’s time,” Moss said.       
• Banana peppers are great because they produce more than bell peppers and aren’t often found in stores, Moss said.  “I like to cut them down the middle, remove the seeds then fill them with either tuna salad, chicken salad or ham salad,” Moss said.

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