Growing my own veggie garden has been somewhat of a dream of mine for quite a while now, and this week I decided to finally go about making that a reality! A conversation with one of my friends recently, was actually what sparked my determination to take action.
My friend and I were discussing how the future of farming, we believe, will eventually consist of buying local produce, or growing most of our own food.
And here’s why…
The Problem with Our Current Farming Practices
Mass food production is having quite an impact on the planet, from the pesticides used, to the transportation of the produce, and it’s getting to a point where it’s becoming no longer sustainable. The world already produces more than 1 ½ times enough food to feed everyone on the planet, but what we’re seeing happen is tremendous amounts of food wastage occurring, a lot of it being unnecessary and preventable.
If everyone were to grow some of their own food (it doesn’t even have to be all of it), were to purchase local produce, buy seasonal fruits and veggies, reduce the amount of store-bought convenience foods they purchased and instead make their own, and buy fair-trade products, this would have huge benefits on our populations’ health, as well as the environment!
Monoculture, which is where one crop is grown in a certain area, is a common practice among farmer’s around the world. However, by continually planting the same crop in the same place each year it depletes the nutrients found in the soil which the plants rely on and can eventually leave soil weak and barren.
Why Growing Our Own Food Can Help
By growing some of our own food ourselves, we can decide what goes on the plants we’re growing as well as into the soil, allowing us to reduce the amount of harmful chemicals polluting our environment and waterways. What’s more, we can leave the fruit/vegetable to fully ripen, not needing to pick it early like is usually done, as there isn’t need for transportation of the food because we’ll often eat it right away. This means we’ll be receiving more of the nutrients found in the plant, which will have a positive effect on our health and well-being.
Another bonus to having everyone grow some of their own food is we can trade amongst each other. For instance, if I were to grow lemons, and my next-door neighbour grew oranges, I could trade some of my lemons for his oranges, which can be a great money saver!
Plus, growing our own produce or buying local can greatly lower transportation emissions caused by food transportation which will substantially benefit our planet.
Growing My Own Garden
So after having this inspiring conversation with my friend, I went about collecting a few different plants together to grow in my backyard.
Now, as it’s heading into Winter here in Aus, I went searching for plants that would best thrive during the coming cooler months, but as I have little experience and knowledge in growing plants, I also wanted something that was quite resilient, and didn’t require too much care (I didn’t want to kill the poor thing in my first week).
So I settled on growing some winter herbs, my choices being mint, oregano, dill, and thyme 😄.
I found a little spot for them out in my back garden, dug little holes in the ground where they would go, filled them with compost (here’s how to start your own composting system if you’re interested! It’s such a great way to reduce food wastage as it goes on to feed future plants you might grow *hint, hint* 😉), then placed the plants in, covered them up and watered them.
The reason I chose to use the compost I had at home, rather than store-bought fertilisers, is it’s a more natural way to nourish plants, as I know what’s in it and there aren’t any chemicals or toxic ingredients that my plants could potentially absorb and pass on to me when I go to eat them.
I’ve also chosen to do organic gardening which means I won’t be using any pesticides, insecticides, or other chemicals often used in conventional farming (so if you’re interested in how I keep bugs and pests away from my plants, stay tuned for my future posts, or see my Instagram page for updates on how my garden’s going ☺️).
Once I’d finished planting my herbs, I moved on to replanting my aloe vera plant into my front garden, as this new spot had more morning sunlight and a little more room for it to grow.
I’ve chosen to garden organically as it’s much better on the environment and my health because less chemicals are used, which means less strain on my body’s toxic-load. If you guys have any suggestions or tips for organic farming, please let me know! I’m still in the beginning stages of gardening and would looooove all the help I can get 😉. Plus it’s a great way to help others in our community who are new to gardening too!
As always, this is not personal medical advice. All opinions expressed are my own, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products.
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What plants do you plan on gardening? Do you have any recommendations on easy veggies to grow that beginners like me can start out with?
Holt-Gimenez, Eric. (December 18, 2014). We Already Grow Enough Food For 10 Billion People — and Still Can’t End Hunger. HuffPost. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/world-hunger_n_1463429
What Are the Environmental Benefits of Growing Your Own Food?. (April 27, 2017). Triangle Pest Control. Retrieved from https://www.trianglepest.com/blog/what-are-environmental-benefits-growing-your-own-food
Shannon. (May 19, 2010). Why Food Sustainability Matters and 10 Things You Can Do About It. Simple Bites. Retrieved from http://www.simplebites.net/10-tips-for-sustainable-eating/
Monoculture. Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monoculture