Spring fever is at an all-time pitch. The calendar says it's spring. The sun's shining on my almost-created garden beds. The seeds I started a few weeks ago are looking forward to their new homes. But it's still too cold outside!
What's a backyard gardener to do, but extol the virtues of growing your own food? I hope that by the end of this short article I will have convinced you to consider planting something edible this spring. Even one little plant. How cool would that be?
Here are my top 3 reasons why...
1. Growing something edible is highly empowering. As a culture, we've come so far away from the agricultural society of our ancestors.
In some ways, of course, that very fact has allowed our technology to skyrocket. After all, if we each as individuals had to be responsible for 100% of our own food production and storage, we wouldn't have time for much else. At least not during the summer!
But there's a back door to the same conversation. Many of us no longer know how to grow our own food. It's a bit of a problem, don't you think, since we can't live without it? And since it does require skill, attention, and a rather steep learning curve.
How does it feel to be completely dependent on (on whom? bottom line in the US is the government) for something that impacts your survival as directly as the food you put in your mouth?
Plant something, and you'll have the opportunity to connect with that bit of life-giving sustainability.
2. Locally grown is environmentally responsible. And you can't get much more local than your own backyard. Anything you grow yourself does not have to be shipped to you. Garden to kitchen. Most of us can do that by hand. No $2.79 a gallon diesel fuel required to transport anything your way. And you get a bit of exercise to boot!
3. Growing your own veggies is healthy! Let's face it, if you grow it, somebody's gonna want to see how good it tastes. It's probably going to be more tasty than the equivalent plant from the big box grocery. And your kids might just think that's a good thing! You might, too. One really good way to involve the whole family in eating more healthy veggies is to get into the fun of growing them.
We all know veggies are healthy choices, right?
And when you grow that veggie yourself, you know exactly what went into the soil, what was or was not sprayed on the plant, and how it was processed. Naturally! You become responsible for making that choice for yourself, rather than passing it off to a commercial grower with different practical priorities.
Nothing like going right out to the garden to pick dinner!
What if you don't have the room?
You may not have room for a full garden. But even an apartment dweller can usually find some outside corner to stick a pot. Into that pot, put a tomato plant or two. Some basil maybe. All depends on what you like. Next year if you want to expand, get a larger pot. Build a raised bed in a corner somewhere. Look around for community gardening space.
Once you're committed to a course of action, you'll find a way to bring it about.
Fresh tomatoes. Who can resist?
Elizabeth Eckert can help you explore how simple everyday choices create health — or undermine even the best of intentions. With a background that ranges from energy medicine to structural bodywork to developmental psychology, this "Stick-To-It Coach" has the experience to support you in creating the healthiest possible expression of — you!
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