Save Hundreds of Dollars with EBT Garden

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Buying Edible Plants with EBT – The Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system plays a pivotal role for numerous families across the United States. Particularly those facing financial hardships. As a component of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), EBT facilitates the acquisition of essential food items for individuals and families in need.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s statistics from the previous year indicated a poverty rate of approximately 11.4%, which equates to around 37 million Americans living below the poverty threshold. This figure reflects the ongoing challenge of poverty in the United States.

Thankfully, the EBT program extends beyond traditional food purchases and allows for procuring edible plants and seeds. This provision empowers recipients to cultivate and grow their food sources, creating a sustainable alternative to regular food purchases and ensuring fresh produce for themselves and their families.

Acceptable EBT Purchases

SNAP mainly aims to help people get enough food that’s good for them. The program lets people buy regular food like canned goods, seeds, and plants. You can use some of your EBT money to start a garden. Growing your fruits, veggies, and herbs can be a great way to have food all the time. 

Benefits of Home Gardening

Using EBT to start a garden is an excellent idea for many reasons. This way, you can make the most out of your SNAP benefits.  Investing in plants that keep giving you food season after season means you can save money in the long run.


Gardening lets you grow your fruits and vegetables right on your patio or backyard, free from harmful chemicals or contaminants.  This makes your food safer and cuts down on the chance of eating something that’s been recalled.

Specific Stores and Places to Buy Edible Plants with EBT

Home Depot and Lowes thought they sold edible plants but were not EBT-acceptable stores. For a store to be eligible, 50% of its sales must be food-related. However, other stores fit that description.

Starting a gardening project with EBT is a fantastic method to extend your SNAP benefits and foster a sustainable food source. Here’s a rundown of specific venues where you can purchase edible plants and seeds using EBT:

Walmart:  Walmart has a gardening section and does accept EBT for edible plants like vegetables and seeds that produce food.

Amazon:   Amazon permits using EBT for various seeds, encompassing those for outdoor plants and indoor gardening projects.

Local Farmers’ Markets:  They carry many edible plants, herbs, and seeds, many of which accept EBT.  Additionally, supermarkets have a plant or seed section.

National and Regional Grocery Chains: Places like Walmart, Whole Foods, and The Home Depot offer a selection of seeds (and sometimes plants).  They also accept EBT for eligible purchases.

Windy Ridge Organics:  This online store allows SNAP/EBT payments for all edible plants and seedlings. When ordering seedlings through their website, apply the coupon code “snap” during checkout to utilize this payment option.

Garden Centers and Nurseries: Some specialized garden centers and nurseries participate in the SNAP program, selling food-producing plants and seeds.

Participating Online Retailers: With the expansion of the SNAP online purchasing pilot, platforms like Amazon and certain online grocery services may accept eligible gardening products.

Community Supported Agriculture (CA) Programs: Certain CSA programs that accept EBT payments may include edible plants or seeds in their shares.

Specialty Health Food Stores: Health food stores that are SNAP-authorized and sell gardening supplies may also offer edible plants and seeds.

When planning your garden or shopping with EBT, check if your chosen store or vendor accepts EBT.  This proactive approach ensures a smooth transaction and sets the stage for a fruitful gardening endeavor.

Cultivating Your Garden

Consider what’s best for your area when choosing seeds or edible plants.  Secondly, consider how much room you have and the amount of sunlight your garden will get. Pick plants that are easy to grow and don’t need too much fuss. Use organic and non-GMO (not changed in a lab) options to make your garden as healthy and natural as possible – watch your EBT dollars grow.

Ensure you have all the necessary tools—like shovels, trowels, and gloves—ready for soil preparation. Plant in the ground or use raised beds for better soil and airflow.  You can also grow vegetables in buckets to save space for a patio garden.

The Easiest Vegetable to Grow for Beginners

Here are some of the easiest vegetables to grow based on their general hardiness, low maintenance needs, and resistance to pests and diseases:

  1. Lettuce and Leafy Greens (e.g., spinach, Swiss chard) – These can be grown in the ground or containers, require minimal space, and can be harvested a few leaves at a time. They prefer cooler weather but can be grown in partial shade.
  2. Radishes – Radishes overgrow, with some varieties ready to harvest in as little as three weeks. They need well-drained soil and can be cultivated in both spring and fall.
  3. Tomatoes – While they require a bit more attention for staking and watering, they are very rewarding to grow. Starting with young plants rather than seeds can make it easier.
  4. Cucumbers – Cucumbers can be grown in the ground or pots and need support for climbing. They love the sun and produce much fruit from a single plant.
  5. Zucchini and Summer Squash – These plants are very prolific producers. They need space to spread out or can be grown vertically with support.
  6. Peas – Peas are cool-weather crops that should be planted early in the spring. They need support for climbing, like a trellis.
  7. Beans – Both bush beans and pole beans are easy to grow. Pole beans will need support for climbing, but both types are known for producing a high yield in a small space.
  8. Herbs (e.g., basil, cilantro, mint) – While not vegetables, herbs are straightforward to grow and can be a good starting point for beginners. They can be grown in small spaces.
  9. Beets – Beets can be grown for both their edible roots and greens. They prefer cooler temperatures but can be grown throughout the growing season.
  10. Carrots – Carrots need loose, sandy soil to grow well but are otherwise easy to care for.

Peace of Mind with Edible Plants

Growing your vegetables can bring peace and safety, particularly in light of the frequent food recalls in the U.S. Nowadays, it’s common to hear about problems like E. coli in salads or salmonella in onions, making having your garden an easy choice.

When you have your garden, you’re in complete control. You can choose what seeds to plant and what kind of fertilizer and bug control to use, and you’ll know precisely when your vegetables are ripe for harvesting.

With your garden, there’s no need to worry about who’s handled your food, how far it’s traveled, or how it was grown., how far it’s traveled, or how it was grown.

Gardening Challenges

Gardening can be a rewarding hobby, but it comes with its challenges, such as dealing with pests, fighting off diseases, and managing limited spaces. However, these obstacles can be overcome with the proper research and support from a community of fellow gardeners.

To make the most of small areas, vertical gardening or utilizing containers can be a creative solution while adopting natural pest management methods can help keep your garden healthy and thriving.

Connect with Community Support and Resources

Engagement with local gardening communities, both offline and online, unlocks a wealth of knowledge and support. Numerous communities offer workshops and resources tailored for SNAP recipients, simplifying the initiation into gardening with EBT.

Additional Resources

For more information about buying edible plants or gardening, Facebook and other online forums can provide current information. There are also online forums dedicated to gardening with SNAP benefits and directories of EBT-eligible gardening stores. 

Also, consider supportive online communities that offer rich information for aspiring gardeners. With enthusiasm and a bit of effort, your SNAP card becomes more than a means to food security—it unlocks the door to a rewarding journey of growth, learning, and community engagement.

What are the benefits of starting a garden with EBT?

Benefits include:

  • Saving money long-term
  • Access to fresh produce free from harmful chemicals
  • Security knowing the source of your food.
  • Supporting a sustainable lifestyle
  • How do I start a garden with EBT funds?

Considerations for starting a garden:

  • Local climateavailable space, and sunlight
  • Opt for easy-to-groworganic, and non-GMO plants.
  • Ensure you have the necessary tools and knowledge for gardening.

What challenges might I face in gardening?

Challenges include:

  • Pestsdiseases, and space limitations
  • Overcome obstacles with researchcommunity support, and creative solutions like vertical gardening.

Where can I find more information or support for gardening with EBT?

Resources are available at:

  • Local gardening communities
  • Online forums and social media groups
  • Workshops and guides tailored to SNAP recipients

Is it worth using my SNAP benefits for gardening?

Investing in a garden with SNAP benefits enhances food securitydiet quality, and environmental impact, offering a rewarding experience beyond food procurement.

Conclusion

Using EBT to get seeds and plants for eating is more than just an intelligent use of benefits—it’s a step towards obtaining your food, staying healthy, and caring for the environment. When people with SNAP benefits choose to use them this way, they change how they see food. Instead of just buying it, they enjoy the food they’ve grown. This process isn’t just about growing food; it’s about learning and working together to live in a healthier and more earth-friendly way.

Pamela Lipscomb

Free Financial Help was created Pamela Lipscomb, a licensed, and ordained minister with 30 years of experience in underserved communities, I have witnessed the profound impact that financial guidance and support can have on families. In this blog, I draw from my extensive experience in diverse programs that bring transformation in families with financial hardships. Our online platform stands as a ray of hope, offering financial assistance, like rent, utilities, food, and medical aid, empowering those in need towards a brighter, more secure future. Follow us on Facebook

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