Times are different ATM. People are hoarding and shelves in supermarkets are empty and people are worried. Starting a garden at home is possible even if you don’t have much space. Even a relatively small plot of land can produce a variety of foods to help feed you and your family. If you are wondering whether to establish your own kitchen garden, here are some reasons why you should go ahead.
Provides Food Safety
By growing your own food, and knowing what you are inputting into the ecosystem on which it grows, you can feel secure knowing that you can feed yourself and your family with unadulterated, fresh food, even in times of shortage.
Uses Waste for Positive Functions
A garden is designed to minimize waste. In fact, it converts what is commonly thought of as waste into useful products, be that flowers to feed your creativity and wellbeing, fruit and veg which feeds your body or something which provides habitat for beneficial birds, insects and wildlife. So, the food scraps from your kitchen become compost, old jeans become mulch, and it may even be possible to recycle the greywater from your bathroom and laundry for use in the garden, if you set it up.
Preserves Heirloom Species
Modern agricultural practices tend to use manufactured seeds. A food garden is a great opportunity to save your own seed thus preserving heirloom species – those that have been unadulterated by modern industrial processes and are part of the natural heritage of a location. There are now concerted efforts to preserve these species, and using them in your own garden enables you to play a part in that effort.
In your own kitchen garden, you get to decide what goodies are available. You can plant a wide variety of different foods (depending on the space available and the local climatic conditions, of course) to make your diet broader. You can also plant different varieties of certain plants to ensure a year-round supply. You will no longer be limited by what the local shops have in stock.
Gives You Fresh and Nutritious Food
Not only does growing your own food mean you can expand the variety of foods you eat, and know that they are unadulterated with chemicals, you also get to experience the taste of the produce at its freshest. Digging up a potato, plucking some broad beans, or snipping off some herbs, carrying them straight to the kitchen and incorporating them into a meal gives the most flavour, as the produce hasn’t had the time to deteriorate. The other substantial benefit of this short time from harvest to table is that food retains a greater proportion of its nutritional content, making the food from your garden better for you.
Provides Opportunities for Sharing
Often, a garden will give you an abundance of produce − so much that you couldn’t eat it all. This gives you the opportunity to share the abundance from nature with your friends, family and neighbours. But even if you have a very small plot, you can still enjoy sharing. Perhaps your neighbours grow types of vegetables that you don’t and vice versa. Suggest a swap so you can both widen the range of your menu. Sharing any surplus your garden creates community and resilience, and it applies not only to food but also wisdom
A kitchen garden, actually any garden attracts wildlife. The plants and trees provide habitats for birds, mammals and insects. A healthy soil also provides an environment for microorganisms to thrive, which in turn will help your plants to flourish. And if you have room for a pond, the diversity of the species attracted is increased again.
This diversity is another reason to establish a garden. By planting a wide variety of species and welcoming as diverse a range of wildlife as possible, you create an ecosystem rich in biodiversity. This helps, even if in a small way, to counter modern food production practices that are typically monocultures.
Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
Your carbon footprint – the ecological damage via greenhouses that your way of life has on the planet – is reduced if you eat food from your garden. By avoiding supermarket produce, even just for some of your food, you reduce the carbon cost of transporting foodstuffs to shops and the energy and water used to package it.
You have set up a garden, successfully grown vegetables that you have eaten straight from the land. You have done so while respecting the planet and making every effort to minimize the negative impacts of modern food production. That’s should give you a great sense of self- fulfillment and a satisfied smile on your face.