Guest Author - Jacqueline Rosenbalm
A major step towards a greener planet is for everyone to grow a portion of their own food. We destroy more land in the name of agriculture than any industry on the planet. If we really want to do something to save the planet we can start by growing a simple backyard garden and limit the purchase of processed foods.
With the economy the way that it is today and the future so uncertain, growing food not only helps out financially but it allows us to gain sustainability and independence. It reduces the amount of stress in our lives by providing an uninterrupted supply of affordable food to our table while at the same time reduces our carbon footprint.
More fossil fuels are used to produce food products than driving our cars. It is hard to imagine that until you realize farmers use tractors to till the fields, plant the seeds and harvest the food then trucks are used to transport it to the manufacturing and packaging plants before itís delivered to the stores for our consumption.
Just imagine now how much fossil fuel we could save if we grew our own food in our backyards and cooked it in our own kitchens. Not to mention how much fresher it would be and how much more nutrition it would contain. Most of the produce that is sold in the store is a few days to a week old at delivery. Nutrients are lost starting at the moment the plant is harvested. By the time produce reaches your kitchen it has already lost at least half of the nutrient value it started with.
When you look at the options available to feed your family the most nutrient dense food and to keep them both happy and healthy clearly homegrown is best. Fresh is best for your family and best for the planet, gardening is truly a win-win situation.
It doesn't take much land to produce a substantial amount of food. A family of four can be feed with approx. 64 square feet of growing space or a 4' x 4' garden for each family member using the Square Foot Gardening method by Mel Bartholomew. It is also a wonderful way to introduce your children to gardening by allowing them to pick the plants they want to grow in their own garden. They love to watch the plants grow and will gain confidence and satisfaction in knowing they grew the food they are consuming.
Reconnect with the earth; show your children that food actually comes from the earth not the store. Show your children by example that it is important to protect the earth allowing her to continue to provide for your everyday needs. It is vital for the next generation to continue to care for the earth or we will continue to suffer the consequences as the earth tries to regain the balance she needs to survive.
If you are gardening this year or have done so in the past, we would love to hear from you about your experiences. Share both your favorite vegetables and your least favorite varieties as well.