Most children think food comes from the grocery store. You might be comfortable with your children learning about farming through books, at school or television. Planting a family garden might be a great activity where each family member has a role, and your children have the opportunity to learn responsibility, teamwork and see the results of their labor in the garden.
Growing Your Own Food
Planting your garden isn't difficult or expensive when you consider how much you'll save by replacing store bought vegetables with the food you grow. You'll want to watch the video below where Stacey Murphy, founder of BK Farmyards (www.bkfarmyards.com), talks about transforming small spaces in New York City (Brooklyn) into bountiful gardens. She and her team of expert gardeners working with developers, home owners and city planners with under utilized land “… producing local food to reduce the city’s reliance on fossil fuels and offer local jobs to boost the economy.”
Here's a quick summary of the video, so you can learn what it takes to feed 4 to 6 people.
- 250 square feet, or the equivalent of a 12 x 12 ft room.
- Sunlight for roughly 6 to 8 hours per day and some shade is okay.
- Basic carpentry skills to build raised planting beds (or prepare ground with required nutrients).
- Soil and seeds for the fruits and vegetables you want to grow.
- Time and patience to water and weed your plants while watching them grow.
Benefits of Growing Your Own Food
Besides the fun you'll have growing your own food, spending time outdoors and relaxing doing something different, here are more benefits for you and your family.
- Healthier, safer food – organic food is healthier because you control what goes into the soil, i.e. no chemicals, no pesticides.
- Great taste – as home grown food is tastier compared to store bought foods.
- Reduce pollution – in the water from chemicals, and the air by burning fewer fossil fuels to transport your food from the farm to your supermarket, to your home.
- Reduce food waste – Americans throw away $600 worth of food each year! It's harder to waste food you've worked hard to nurture over many weeks, so you're more likely to eat or preserve it before it goes to waste.
Not sure you're ready to commit to gardening? Start small with an indoor herb garden on a windowsill or a few containers on a sunny balcony or patio. If you don't have enough space, look for a community garden near your home (www.CommunityGarden.org to locate a community garden near you). The important thing is to try growing your own food and learn if you like it? or love it?