As food prices skyrocket and a growing number of studies try to scare consumers away from everything, many people have begun the age-old practice of growing their own produce in a backyard garden. Growing up, my family always had a garden, did yours?
This responsible and efficient practice is a great alternative to overpaying for organic fruits and vegetables as well as a fun, educational, experience for anyone interested in providing their own food, with or without access to used farm equipment. In fact, during both World Wars, concerned citizens across the world grew Victory Gardens to help feed themselves so more resources could be allocated to the front lines. It was also an excellent source of specific ingredients during a time of cautious rationing.
Your Way is the Right Way
One of the best parts of growing your own food is that you can choose exactly what you’d like to grow. There are numerous subspecies of all types of things from tomatoes to spicy peppers to mint and other herbs. While many things are often only sold in the store in one variety, such as Iceberg lettuce or Russet potatoes, plenty of options await the resourceful gardener – some of which you’ve never heard of. Just be sure to properly mark and label different plants with identifying stakes. Think of how much fun it will be once your first vegetables start to ripen. I love fried green tomatoes and no one wants me picking green tomatoes out of their garden:( My husband’s dad warns me not to touch his green tomatoes before July 4th.
Besides controlling what you grow, you can also control how you grow it. The option to use fertilizers and pesticides still exists for the backyard gardener but there are also more eco-friendly methods better suited to small gardens. You could even start your own compost pile to use for a more self-sufficient garden. You can also adjust the water schedule, though rain is an important variable. The more time you spend with your plants, the better you will be at growing them into succulent produce, with or without the aid of purchasing used farm equipment.
Another excellent advantage to growing your own backyard garden is the health benefits for both yourself and the environment. Having steady access to fresh produce allows for it to be better integrated into a balanced diet without having to keep ingredients stocked and being sure to use them before they expire. Further, as most grocery stores buy produce from a global market, a large portion of the cost is tied up in transportation expenses and other liabilities. Conversely, the produce you grow in your backyard leaves a tiny carbon footprint.
In these trying economic times, joining the backyard garden revolution is an excellent way to obtain cheap and healthy food, even factoring in start-up costs. With more options, increased control, and a lighter conscience, growing your own food is fun, educational for the kids and makes sense.