What a week, huh?!
The corona virus came at us fast and out of nowhere, like a run-away freight train, leaving us confined to our homes, some of us “far out there,” situated on secluded back roads, far from any public places. While we’ll be at our residences over the next few weeks with more time than usual, it’s never been a better time to assess your property and start thinking about an edible garden.
Growing your own food is simply an overall win-win situation for not only you and your family, but the entire community as a whole. In these extremely unsettling times, growing your own vegetables and/or fruits will give you the peace of mind that you’ll be able to harvest the freshest food possible, even if you can’t get to a grocery store and perhaps have some extra to help your neighbors.
Being the steward of your own edible garden gives you control of what you grow, what goes into the soil and on your plants. Home-grown vegetables are more nutritious than those sold to big box grocery stores; most gardeners who grow their food also chose ecologically responsible gardening practices and opt to not use chemicals in their gardens.
Prospective gardeners should note that improper use of pesticides and fertilizers – common among novice gardeners – can cause serious ecological problems and health hazards. You don’t need to hurt Mother Earth with chemicals to ensure her bounty.
You can always improve your health greatly by consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables, a central part of any healthy diet. And when you grow your own, you’re more inclined to eat whatever you produce, thus leading to more vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients getting into your system.
On a mental health angle, gardening is a natural stress reliever, which we all need right about now. It’s an ongoing process of hard work and nurturing to ensure a bounty, but the journey there is beyond gratifying. The best medicine for us all is fresh air, warm sunshine and being outside.
And that’s not to mention the weeding, watering, planting, and harvesting is a great “NO-GYM” workout and will keep you in good physical shape.
I will go on the record and declare there is a true satisfaction apart from any other when you bite into a red tomato you’ve grown yourself. Organically grown veggies are healthier and more flavorful compared to a store bought vegetable. Think of a red tomato you buy from a box grocery store in February. Does it taste as good as the one you harvested from your own garden in August? Definitely NOT!
For anyone considering an edible garden (I highly encourage everyone to try their hand at growing at least one vegetable, fruit, or herb this season), there’s many options suited for the space you have, whether it’s a small balcony, back porch, or a back yard. You can grow vegetables in in-ground gardens, in raised beds, or containers, such as buckets, patio planters, or grow bags.
To get started with edible gardens, whether you’re a beginner or advanced, I wanted to include some helpful resources.
Gardener Supply: www.gardeners.com
Farmers Alamanc: www.farmersalmanac.com
University of Connecticut Home & Garden Education Center: www.ladybug.uconn.edu
If you email Wheeler Library firstname.lastname@example.org they will deliver books curbside. It's worth a try before you go out and buy them. (they also have seeds)
Cedar pickets have increased in price over the last 10 years, but you will still find these budget-friendly raised garden builds a great DIY project. Click here for the plans. Then come back and click or tap on the cedar board below. The cheapest we found was at Lowes, but please let us know in the comments if you find a better price/quality elsewhere.
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