In other words, this is an extreme variation on the grow box method of gardening.
The panqar huyu is a small semi-subterraneous green house. The top assembly onsists of a polythene covering commercially known as "Agrofilm", which is partially opened during the day as a lid. The plants germinate and grow inside due to the warm temperature maintained inside because of the specially prepared floor and walls. In this way, the panqar huyu allows the cultivation of species that are normally not produced in the Altiplano. Crops can be harvested multiple times in a year, and the crop cycle can be shortened accordingly. This allows families to produce and consume more vegetables that are rich in nutrients that would otherwise be unavailable to families in the high altitude regions and during certain seasons of the year.
The point of this illustration is to show that there are innovative methods of growing plants for high production at a minimal cost. If you meticulously calculate the cost of home production and compare it to the purchased cost for processed foods, you will find that it is nearly always less expensive to grow your own food. This is especially true if you grow herbs and vegetables that are less popular. One limitation on the cost of growing your own food, is for field crops, such as corn, potatoes, wheat and other similar plants. In the case of wheat, for example, it is difficult to crow enough to make a difference and the harvested seed is usually more expensive than purchased seed because of economies of scale.
Click here for a detailed discussion of the cost of canning tomatoes. If you do a search on the Internet on store bought vs. home grown, you will find hundreds of thousands of hits.
It is absolutely important in today's world of instant gratification that we return to the basics and one of those basics is knowing how to grow plants. By utilizing one of the many high production methods, you could feed yourself and your whole family on a very small sized garden plot. Even if you live in an apartment, you can still grow a sizable amount of produce and herbs in boxes and pots.