Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Benefits of urban agriculture / victory garden

Save money - and don't we all want to now that this recession is taking hold.
$2.65 - packet of seed beans from mail-order catalog - and I'd be wasting much of it since I don't have room for several big bean plants if I want to grow anything else.
$1.25 - 1 lb. bag of dry beans from grocery store. I'll pre-sprout them to make sure I get germination which is sometimes a problem with beans that aren't intended to be used as seeds (plus I'll only use a couple seeds and eat the rest!)
$1.40 - savings

Eat healthy - fresh produce has loads more nutrition than the stuff at the grocery store that was picked weeks ago and shipped hundreds (if not thousands of miles). Every moment after picking veggies and fruits start losing their nutritional value. The average food item travels 1500 miles. With that kind of distance between me and the farmer who grew it, it's hard to know how it was produced, and imagine the amount of time and fuel needed to get it to it's destination. I've seen apples from New Zealand at Hy-Vee!

Beautify - imagine red strawberries peeking behind their leaves, squash vines hanging down 5', a mound of orange, yellow and pink nasturtiums, and a veil of pea vines reaching high up on a trellis. And that's only the start to the loveliness I'm planning.

Reduce carbon footprint - because about 25% (depending on what your source is) of our carbon footprint comes from the food we eat. And a lot of our food is imported.

Security - not that I'm the gloom-and-doom kind of person, but there's a certain appeal to having control over having something to eat. Natural disasters and wars have disrupted food supply numerous times in the past and people have compensated by growing their own fruits and vegetables, even in difficult situations. I saw a presentation by Kenneth Helphand last year.

Safety - salmonella scares in Spinach, scallions, and jalapenos, OH MY! One of the reasons I gave up meat was to avoid disease and harmful bacteria. I can't stand the thought of it popping up in my veggies!

Therapy - few things are as soothing as greenery and I definitely need my share.

I hope more people start growing their own food - and realize that they can do more than get one lonely tomato plant and a couple pots of herbs - though even that's a start! I love this idea. I think it would be very inspirational to the American people especially since we're still optimistic about Obama.


  1. Thumbs up to you...a green thumb too !

    I'm blessed to have a small farm with plenty of good land to grow an abubdance of food.

    We always grow more than we need and share it with those who are in need.

    Looking forward to following your project.

    Much success..I know you will have it.

    Bea Kunz

  2. Mmmm- Strawberries. You know I love them!

  3. Bea: Thanks for the good luck wishes!

    Cyn: I'll share if you visit me! :)

  4. I'll take you up on that offer--if I get some of that Apple Wine as well!

  5. Best of luck! It can definitely be done, you just need to learn to play container tetris!