If you own a home, live near a community garden, or even have a balcony that begs for a few pots, you may have thought about creating a garden. We’ve already talked a little bit about planting bee gardens and letting your lawns grow to help the environment, but planting a vegetable garden has its benefits too.
Growing your own vegetables, if done properly, can help cut down on your food miles, which could reduce your carbon footprint. Food miles usually aren’t the biggest part of your carbon footprint, but when you’re trying to cut your footprint anywhere you can, it’s worth taking a look at.
It’s not just the food miles though. If you choose to create your own compost, you’re keeping your food scraps out of landfill. This is an important part of reducing your carbon emissions, because the anaerobic conditions in landfill causes your food scraps to release harmful greenhouse gases when they otherwise wouldn’t.
That’s not all a home garden can do. If you choose to use organic methods, you’re reducing the need for fossil fuels elsewhere in the world. Every time you eat vegetables that don’t depend on fossil fuels for fertilizer or pesticides, you’re benefiting the planet.
A garden that is grown with the planet in mind can be very beneficial for you, your family, and the planet too.
In order to grow your own veggies you’ll need a minimum of seeds, soil, sunlight, and water. It can be as easy as growing your own vegetable scraps, or you can pick your own seeds from a gardening catalog.
Choose a sunny location for your garden. If you don’t have the ability to plant directly in the ground, container gardening could be a great choice for you. If you don’t even have a balcony to grow on, a sunny window sill can still provide you herbs, microgreens, or other small greens.
When you plant your seeds depends on whether it is a warm season or cool season crop. Some plants, such as lettuce, broccoli and kale require cool weather to grow well. These plants need to be planted early in spring.
Tomatoes, squash, and peppers are warm season crops. They need to be planted later in the season. Most seed packages will have a map of the gardening zones with planting dates based on where you live.
Start out small, and stick to vegetables you know you’ll enjoy eating. You don’t want to end up with an entire crop of zucchini only to remember you hate the flavor.
Benefits of Gardening
Aside from being great for the environment, it’s also beneficial for you too. Fresh food tastes better than food that was picked green and shipped for 1,200 miles. On top of this, many of the vegetables in the grocery store are from varieties that ship well–not that taste the best.
You may be shocked to discover how much better the flavor of more delicate varieties are. It can be difficult and even disappointing to go back to store bought food after a taste of home grown.
We all know that spending time outside in nature is the very best thing for our minds and bodies, and that we don’t spend enough time in nature. Gardens are a great way to reconnect with the Earth.
Kids can also benefit from helping you in the garden–and as a side benefit, children who grow their own vegetables are also more likely to eat them.
Your garden can become a carbon sink
A properly managed sustainable garden can become a carbon sink, rather than yet another source of carbon. Sustainable garden means gardening intensively, avoiding fossil fuel based fertilizers, tilling, and using cover crops.
Through careful management a garden can be a wonderful way to clean the air, and get some tasty vegetables from it too.
We believe sustainable gardening is a wonderful way to help during the climate crisis. This page will be updated with details on different vegetables, and links to articles on how to do everything in the garden in detail. Please bookmark this link if you are interested in sustainable gardening and check back for new additions daily.