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Many kids today think our food comes from the grocery store, unless they've got a garden in the backyard. Few of us know exactly where our food comes from – the countries where it's grown, processed before it travels to your grocery store. How Far Does Your Food Travel to Get to Your Plate? illustrates this with a story about sugar grown in Hawaii, that can travel 10,000 miles before it's served in a restaurant. So it's no surprise, that many people are looking for ways to change where our food comes from, and this article surveys some of the new ways you can grow your own food indoors.
And one of the more surprising things about these new gardening ideas, that help you grow your own food indoors, is you might use them on the roof in an urban setting, or in the driveway when that's all you have. What's important here is that you open your eyes to seeing new possibilities as the farm to table movement is changing how we think about our food in ways we couldn't imagine several years ago.
New Ideas to Grow Your Own Food Indoors
One of the first things to mention is that lots of building trends start out in commercial buildings, and that's a good thing. They've got bigger budgets than a typical homeowner and by the time new materials migrate to consumers, a lot of testing and learning has happened. I first discovered these beautiful living walls online but have since seen them at local nurseries.
But wait, this article is about gardening and while you might grow some herbs on the wall instead of the window sill, will you be able to grow all the herbs and vegetables you want? You won't have to give up counter space, and if you're old fashion, you might prefer the “gardening in dirt” approach versus the new hydroponic gardening.
That all depends on how you define gardening, as that's what's being disrupted with all these new solutions to eating healthier food. Here is UrbanCultivator.net's fully automated kitchen garden, which you'll love except for the price tag at $2,000, so I'm waiting a while as prices will come down.
What's amazing is they've built this new garden appliance to fit in the same space as a dishwasher, e.g. so it can also use the water hookup that's already there. What makes this an automated garden is there's very little to do except plant the seeds and harvest your delicious greens. Temperature control, lighting and watering are all automated – this is my type of gardening!
If you want to grow your herbs, or small lettuce in your kitchen … on a budget, you might start with Click & Grow's Smart Herb Indoor Garden Kit (left) or one from Miracle-Gro (right), both available at Amazon.
Don't Want to Grow Your Own Food Indoors or Anywhere
Maybe you're not an avid gardener but love your salads and fresh veggies as much as I do? That's fine because there are lots of people who love gardening so much, that they're growing the food you want. Here are the many ways in which you can source locally grown food, some old and some new as technology creates new solutions to age old problems.
- Farmer's markets are everywhere but did you know you can also visit farms, along with stores and restaurants selling locally grown food? Visit LocalHarvest.org to find all these resources for your town and surrounding area (23 listings for Scottsdale, AZ; 24 listings for Greenland, NH).
- Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a wonderful alternative to a farmer's market, as you develop a relationship with your farmer. You'll find the same fresh vegetables and visit the farm where they're grown. CSAs are also online at LocalHarvest.org/csa.
- FreightFarms.com is an innovative “farm in a box”, offering an amazing solution to grow your own food indoors locally almost anywhere in the world. It's a sizable investment today, meant for restaurants, schools and small businesses who want to change how the world eats. As our farmland becomes more depleted of nutrients, and weather patterns impact the growing season, we should expect to see more products that small communities and homeowners can use directly.