Growing your own produce is increasingly popular
With all the community gardens sprouting up around Delaware County, it is easy to see that growing your own produce is even more popular than it was even just a few years ago. That’s a good thing. Reaping the rewards of growing fruits and vegetables is a great way to reconnect with nature and the origins of our food.
There are lots of reasons gardening is growing in popularity, especially in urban areas. A growing awareness of eating healthy, chemical-free foods; a desire to eat locally and reduce the food miles from field to fork (an average of 1,500 to 2,500 miles); a need to teach our children that food doesn’t always come shrink-wrapped; and, finally, and let’s face it, the most motivating reason is sky rocketing food prices.
Our son Michael brought home a cabbage plant starter from third grade and was all fired up about starting a garden. We’ve container gardened, but never a full-blown garden. Imagine trying to explain Homeowners Association rules to a nine-year-old. Oh, bother. So we devised a plan to put some raised beds next to the house. We did try having a garden over at Stratford Ecological Center back when they offered plots for community gardening. It was a great idea, but a failed project for us. Those weeds grew way too fast and time to get over there to water never seemed to materialize.
If you are interested in starting a vegetable garden this year, visit backyardgardener.com/veg or check out the many books on the topic at the local library. Look for organic seeds. You can learn more at seedsofchange.com. If you are a container gardener like us, visit containergardeningtips.com and, if you simply want to eat locally, be sure and visit our local farmer’s markets this year or the Delaware County Community Market.
Tuesday Trippier lives in Delaware, is a writer and a mother of four and is in her fifth year of writing this column about green living.