We are increasingly disconnected from the food we eat. What better way to fix that than to grow your own stash? Madeleine Somerville explains how
For the five years I spent as a youth worker, I spent my days playing pool and handing out condoms, functioning as an advocate and running a gardening program called Grow. Grow was designed to reconnect kids with the process of planting, growing and harvesting organic fruits and vegetables.
While bribing teenage boys to care about organic gardening was challenging, it also had unique rewards. I witnessed a 17-year-old kid discover how broccoli grows and watched as he idly picked snap peas right off the vine and declared with shock that they actually tasted good. These discoveries underlined for me how disconnected many of us have become from our food.
Today, the farm-to-table movement has made many of us consider the origins of what we eat at restaurants. But at home it can be difficult to stay mindful. The simplest way to take on a proactive relationship with what you eat is to grow some of it yourself. Its a trend that seems to be taking off.
In 2011, the UK reported that 5% of fruits and vegetables consumed were home-grown, up from 2.9% in 2008. As of 2014, the US, boasted 35% of households, or 42m, growing food at home or in a community garden, up 17% in five years.
The internet offers a wealth of resource guides distinct to your regions soil makeup, climate and growing season, making planting and troubleshooting a snap. So theres just not much standing in between you and your future garden.
How to grow your own vegetables in a flat, condo or studio apartment
If you live in a flat or a condo and lack the space for a garden of your own, you may still be able to access a plot of land through a community garden. Ask around to see if one exists near you.
When you do get started, veggies such as kale, peas and zucchini are easy to grow and can offer a confidence boost to novice gardeners, but the best guide for what to plant should be what you love to eat. Browse through a seed catalogue and see what makes your mouth water Ive always loved West Coast Seeds for unique heritage seed varieties, but finding a seed supplier local to you will give you your best chance of success.