There are a lot of reasons for growing food locally. First, people enjoy gardening – it’s near the top of every list of popular hobbies. After all, most of us can trace our roots back to relatives, who before the 20th Century, grew or raised at least part of their own food.
Second, what you grow and can eat helps with food costs – if you watch how much you spend in growing the food. Native plants that can be used as food require virtually no cost. For example, stinging nettle which makes a nutty-tasting vegetable grows wild and all we need to do is pick it with gloves and boil it.
Several books have been written recently that make the case that there is a better environmental case for large-scale farming than growing food locally because factory-scale farming uses less energy per food item and costs less.
To this, we respond that growing food locally – whether in backyard gardens, on rooftops, in greenhouses, community gardens, on urban farms – is in itself necessary to create sustainable communities – communities that are able to help feed themselves in times of crisis – any one of a number of which –could result in empty grocery store shelves in a matter of days.
Other reasons, as pointed out by Sarah Rich in her book, Urban Farms, reports urban farms serve as social anchors for communities and improve blighted areas.
If you decide you’d like to start growing your own food , start small. Begin with the basics before undertaking extensive projects or buying a full range of the latest tools and equipment you think you might need. Find out if you’ll like doing what’s involved. In the meantime, consider sharing tools with others or borrowing as you explore what will best suit your needs.
If you think we can help, we offer counseling.
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