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New to farming/growing plants-- Need help starting

 
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To start this off im a pretty bored 14 y/o person trying to get into farming for food and entertainment- but i don't know how to get seeds/how to even grow--- the issue arises where i don't have any money to invest in potting soil/pots in general, ive got some old egg cartons my mom said will work, but still don't know how to get myself some seeds for free, or $1~$1.50, also i like hot peppers and anything relating to spices in general.
 
steward
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Howdy Cale, welcome to permies!  well you have come to the right place!

First lets get some more info from you. Where do you live? Do you have any forests or farms around you? There might be places near you where you can get some good soil for free. Start saving containers from your food. Milk cartons or butter tubs for example. Egg cartons are good for starting seeds but as the plants grow you will need bigger pots or a garden to plant them in.  Do you have an area to start your garden outside? Or will you be gardening in containers?

I would bet that there are folks here at permies who would send you some seeds, you just have to ask.

What kinds of food do you like that you want to grow?  Do you ever have fresh fruits or vegetables for dinner that you could save the seeds from? That's how I started. Mom bought a squash for dinner and I planted the seeds out side next to the house. In the fall we had a couple more squash!

So keep talking with us, keep asking questions and lets get you to gardening!
 
Cale Anderson
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Hiya Miles!, thanks for the warm welcome!

I currently live in a small town in the state of Minnesota, so growing outside is not much of an option, i live near some farms, but they grow corn and the farmers are real mean.
I mainly will be growing for some hot peppers and some spices to make some of our food better, although i am open to some easy-to-grow alternatives. I have a lot of tupperware that i save because it makes some real nice food storage

-Cale
 
garden master
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Hi Cale! Welcome to permies!

Knowing approximately where about you live will help, like a city or even what part of a state you live in, if you're in America.

A lot of public libraries now have a seed exchange programs, where you check out seeds in the spring for free with an understanding that seeds will be returned after a harvest, but there is no penalty for not returning seeds if there is crop failure.

I think it's great to have a young person like yourself here on Permies asking questions! I'm an avid gardener and am more than happy to help you with any questions you may have, if I can answer them.

I know I'm just an internet stranger, but ask your mom if she has or knows someone with a PO box or even a business address (I don't want to know where you live), PM me and I'll send you some free seeds, just let me know what kind of veggies you want to grow. If you're outside of america, there may be restrictions for me to mail seeds, but I'm not 100% sure on this. The gub'ment is funny about plant materials crossing borders.
 
Cale Anderson
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Hey James, currently writing this on my phone so sorry if there's any misspellings but I live in a really residential town in it that I don't really like to give out but I do have my PO box and I don't really know how to send personal messages so you're going to have to help me out on that and that be great. Thanks


-Cale
 
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This thread might be right up your alley, so to speak: Harvesting Seeds from Your Groceries. If your parents buy any sort of fresh produce you might be able to get some seeds out of them and start growing them. If they buy a pepper at the store, take the seeds from it and plant them! A lot of seeds are actually easier to grow right out of the fruit!

As for pots, you can use egg cartons, toilet paper tubes, or make them out of newspaper. But, plants get big, and as they do, they need more root space than an egg carton can give. You can use big yogurt containers or milk jugs with the tops cut off--just make sure to put some holes at the bottom for drainage, and to put a bowl or dish under them if they're inside, so that they don't leak water and cause water damage (I've been there and done that!)

A PM is a private message--we call them "Purple Moosages" because they're not exactly private (some moderators have the ability to read them, but generally are waaaay too busy to snoop around it people's messages). If you click on James Freyr's name, you'll be taken to his profile page. On the top right of it, is a little envelope icon. Click on that, and it'll take you to a place where you can write and send the message. I'm trying to paste a direct link to his PM box, but I don't know if it'll work: https://permies.com/forums/pm/sendTo/226411
 
pollinator
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Cale, welcome to the fun, you are at a great age to start on this journey and there is more fun in here than you can imagine. From what you've said I would recommend finding the closest natural food store/food co-op/farmers market that sells hot pepper seeds. There should be seeds available now or very soon from at least a regional seed company. Sprout them in egg cartons, small (rinsed clean) yogurt cups, or other small disposable containers. Use free soil if you have decently crumbly brown soil in your yard or think about investing in a bag of organic potting soil. I would think for you pepper planting season is probably late april or so, you have time. Let them live in a south facing window sill, as the seeds grow move them up to bigger pots (you can use up that bag of organic potting soil you bought for this, and none of these need to go in anything bigger than a 3 gallon pot this year). over the season look at this forum and look at youtube videos and look at any info you can find to tell you how to grow peppers. Try different methods  on different pots. Enjoy growing something you like and make bigger plans to do more gardening you like over the course of the year.
You could also experiment with composting/vermicomposting this year. Its a great thing to explore as you get into gardening. Mainly though start small, start with a plant that you really like to eat, make sure you have fun. Then build up.
 
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Location: Southeastern Minnesota; Zone 4b / 5a cusp
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Hi Cale! Which part of Minnesota? I'm hoping to connect with fellow Minnesota permies. My new place is in SE MN.
 
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