Suburban Farming is a very important and growing trend across our country. As a society, we are all starting to embrace the fact that we need to take better care of our planet, by reducing plastic usage, reducing our waste, and drastically cutting back on our reliance on dirty fossil fuels.
There is good news... we can do all of these things with a simple shift; called suburban farming. More people than ever are starting to grow their own food again! The concept is simple and everyone (even apartment dwellers) can get involved.
Don't you think it's time we all benefit from easier access to fresh, healthy vegetables? Isn't it amazing to think that we could grow our own Organic produce for a fraction of the cost of purchasing it in the store? It doesn't take acres of land to grow our own food, and I'm going to be working tirelessly to encourage others to join this growing trend!
How to Get Started With Suburban Farming
What types of fruits and vegetables are your favorites? My family eats quite a few berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and black currants) so I will be adding these to my 1/4 acre yard this Spring. We always grow our own peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and cucumbers so we will continue doing this as well. However, this year we have started juicing daily, so I think we will also add in carrots, cucumbers, beets, and celery.
We will be freezing and canning vegetables too. I can already feel the difference in plastic consumption coming. No more plastic blueberry containers, no more bags around the carrots....
If you have never grown your own food, I encourage you this year to add something to your yard that your family can eat. If you have never grown your own food before, just start with one thing! It doesn't have to be complicated, just get started.
If you don't have much space or time, perhaps consider starting with a small herb garden. There's nothing quite as tasty as cutting some fresh basil or thyme from your garden while cooking dinner. Chives are another great herb to grow and they are perennials that will continue producing for you year after year.
If you are gardening i the suburbs, have you ever considered replacing some of your grass with a garden of edibles?
What Do I Need All of This Grass For?
Have you ever considered how much harm the suburbs can do to our ecosystem? Think about the chemicals in the lawn, the lack of native plants for our wildlife, the shortage of food for birds in the wintertime... All of our ecosystems and environments are connected. Whatever we use to make our "yard look pretty" is impacting our ecosystem and ultimately our food, and the air we breathe.
The truth is, we don't need so much grass in our yard. In fact, it's one of the greatest myths of our lifetime. No one needs to have a "pretty green lawn." In fact, it does more harm than good, and they are extremely labor & resource intensive.
Think about this for a moment...
We take perfectly healthy soil, and plant (resource intensive) grass seed, then we cover this grass with an abundance of chemicals so it stays green and weed free. What exactly does this accomplish for our environment? We are poisoning our own waterways, and adding chemicals to the soil which could be used to grow foods to nourish our family.
Growing Our Own Food Matters
Gardening Isn't Just for Farmers
Everything we Grow Locally Supports our Planet
Growing up in Ohio, I was introduced to gardening at a young age. As a young child, my parents had a beautiful garden and canned many items to eat throughout the winter. When I look back now, I realize what a healthy way of life that was and how much my own children could benefit from growing our own food whenever possible.
It's time for all of us to start growing our own food again. There, I said it. There is certainly a case to be made for buying all of our groceries at the store... but what if we start to consider all of the benefits on the opposite end of the spectrum?
What differences would we see in our daily lives that would make it worthwhile to grow our own food?
Growing Your Own Food Is The Best Thing We Can Do For the Planet and Our Health
1) Growing our own food means we are responsible for the products we use to keep our plants healthy. Growing organic is no longer expensive, it's just how you eat because you don't spray toxic chemicals on your own food.
2) Growing our own food means it tastes better. Did you ever stop to think about why food tastes better when we grow it ourselves? I like to think that the food tastes it's very best when the nutritional content is at its peak.
3) Did you know that certain fruits and vegetables are exposed to a certain gas to help the food "ripen" right before being sent to the grocery stores? This means that the food wasn't even technically ready to be picked; so is more difficult for our bodies to digest.
How To Get Started with Growing Your Own Food
Just start. Grab a packet of seeds, some organic potting soil and a pot, and start. If you would like to full commit to turning your yard into a garden, contact your local gardener's organization and start researching online. If you happen to live in Long Island (like I do) you can contact Lawn Island Farms and they will come and do it for you! Here is a great article with some tips to get you started on your own. You can also follow Joe Lamp'l from Growing a Greener World, as he shares his gardening wisdom with his followers every week on The Joe Gardener Show. He is extremely knowledgeable and is a huge inspiration for us here at 4 The Greater Good!
Please follow us along on Instagram @4theGreaterGood2, and tag us so we can see the progress of your new garden! We'll be sure to share updates along the way over here as well.
What 1 plant can you add to your yard, balcony, windowsill, to help nourish your family this upcoming year?
Please send all of your tips for growing blueberries to the comments section ;)
Happy Gardening! #GrowYourOwnFood