FFF: It’s time to grow food

Fly Free Friday is a new weekly segment (kinda) where I discuss or highlight topics and info outside of fly fishing that interest me.


Spring means fishing but it also means it’s time to grow food.

As the warmer weather rolls in and begins to freshen everything up a bit, it’s time for our customary annual dive into DIY projects and gardening. It’s the time of year when I grow food, experiment with recipes and attempt to cook some decent stuff for my family.

Yep, it's finally growing season!

A photo posted by Cory Perry (@fisherousdotcom) on

Get it in the ground to grow

I’ve grown a garden every year since I was probably about 10 years old. My mom taught me well and showed me that gardening is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, while also providing good, healthier food for the dinner table. It also cuts down on the grocery bill, which I am a big fan of.

I’ve always said that the food you grow yourself is the best food in the world. It’s better, it’s healthier, it costs less and it’s a great lesson in being much more self-reliant. It can also be somewhat of a challenge, which I find to be a fun part of gardening.

What we’re growing this year

Since we are cutting back on space this year, we’re also cutting back on what we actually grow this year. The last several years we’ve really grown more than we could handle and at times, it was almost too much to try to maintain. We simplified this year and also cut back on the number of items.

Here is the list of what’s cropping this year:

  • Tomatoes (Big Boy’s, Better Boy’s)
  • Bell Peppers (Green, Red)
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions (Red, White)
  • Okra
  • Strawberries

I’m a raised bed kinda guy

I’ve never had success with a garden that was planted in the natural ground. I don’t know why, I don’t care why, because I’ll never plant another garden that way. Here in the South, much of the ground is just not very conducive to growing without a ton of work. For a small family garden, it just doesn’t make sense to put in that work.

Finally got a fresh row of tomato plants in the raised beds. #urbangardening

A photo posted by Cory Perry (@fisherousdotcom) on

Raised beds on the other hand, have been major producers. When you can control depth, location, soil content, drainage, etc. you almost always produce a better, fuller garden. That has always been my experience, your mileage may vary.

This year, we are actually downsizing our garden and streamlining what we grow. We’re going from 3 large raised bed boxes to just 2 and we’ve moved them to a new section of the yard. I think we have chosen an even better location than before and I am super excited to see what results we get this year.

Stay tuned as I keep updating the progress of the garden and sharing some helpful links and tips along the way.

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Do you grow your own food or have a garden of some type? What have your experiences been like? Drop me a comment below!

Cory Perry
I'm a husband, father and fly fishing geek living in Greenville, SC. I'm down with slinging flies, tying flies and spending every minute I can enjoying the vast outdoors with my family and friends.

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