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If you have kids, you know snacks are a must for life to run smoothly. Around here the afternoon snack is the biggest to avoid the pre-supper hangry meltdowns. Supper can be delayed on the farm, especially in the summertime. But how do you keep easy snacks on hand on a tight budget?
Summertime is honestly the easiest. Part of the garden is planted specifically for easy kid access. The snack bins in the house are usually pretty empty in the summer. For the simple fact, there is food to eat in the garden. If I have the snacks in the house the kids return and eat the snacks inside, instead of the garden produced snacks.
What snacks do we grow? My kids love peas! The good news is the snap peas we can usually plant early and then plant again for a fall run. I only plant one row along the fence for them, because they take more time than I am willing to currently dedicate to preserving them for winter. Strawberries are another quick snack that can be everbearing and give snacks throughout the summer.
Cucumbers take a bit longer to get going but fill the gap nicely for variety in peas and between pea crops. Radishes are another quick growing snack my kids will grab while playing and can be planted a few rows at a time, 1 week apart, to have a continual supply. Lettuce and spinach are also something kids can grab and go, with the same planting strategy as the radishes.
End of summer and fall the fruit starts to come in here and the kids know those are also free range for snacking. They pick it and they can eat it. If we are harvesting a bunch for preserving, they eat from the plants, not the basket.
I do usually buy a few fruits to keep on hand. The secrete here is to buy what is in season and on sale. Local farmers markets can also give you good deals. You can also use this strategy if you find a really good deal. Break out the dehydrator and dry the fruit for snacks in the wintertime or road trips.
The wintertime we snack on more starchy things. Some that we preserved in the fall, like the dehydrated fruit. I usually buy bulk for the other snacks. A giant bag of oats, I can use for oatmeal, baking, and making granola for snacking.
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