Tuesday, June 18, 2019

What Can I Do about Climate Change? Plant a Garden!

Part of the challenge of our modern society is finding ways to feed the massive population of people on Earth without compromising the natural world. One thing we can all do, even people without yards, is grow a little bit of food for ourselves every year.

People with sunny yards where the summer is hot will have the easiest time growing food. If the summer nights are warm enough you can grow peppers, tomatoes, and melons. If you plant a fruit tree you can even have your own home grown cherries, apricots, pears, or apples in a few years if you choose a quick growing variety. People who live in a year round warm climate can even grow their own avocados, oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits. Even if you would have to wait ten years for the tree to bear fruit, think of how happy you will be in ten years to have avocados you grew yourself! And the good work you do now will help future inhabitants of your house after you move away! That's one more family that doesn't have to get their apricots, pears, apples, or avocados shipped in from Mexico! If a lot of people think this way and plant their trees now, in ten years, we could save untold fuel costs and shipping emissions by producing renewable, readily available, locally grown food.


We are not all so lucky to live in a warm climate. I live in Jackson Wyoming, the prettiest place on Earth as far as I'm concerned. The problem with Jackson is that you can't grow tomatoes without a fairly heroic effort. To me, and to most vegetable gardeners, tomatoes are almost the entire reason to have a garden. Home grown fresh tomatoes are heaven on earth! But you know what else is pretty heavenly? A salad that you make of lettuce and spinach that you picked only moments ago. It's an entirely different experience from your usual supermarket salad. Your carrots are sweeter, your kale is crisper, your peas are more succulent, and your herbs are more potent and delicious. I can't grow my favorite crops, but I can still grow some pretty fabulous produce in my cold back yard. Is it more trouble than picking up a plastic container of pre-washed salad greens at the supermarket? Sure it is. But it's so good for you to get out there every day and tend your plot, and believe me, it all tastes so much better!

But what about apartment dwellers? Well even you can sprout yourself some delicious micro salad greens to enjoy as an accompaniment to your dinners, even in winter if you are willing to invest in a grow light. Many herbs also grow well indoors, and they are so much cheaper than buying fresh herbs at the supermarket, which are usually packaged in non-recyclable plastic, just like those fresh salad greens that are so easy to buy.

If you're just starting out, I suggest you start small. Start with a small four by four foot plot, and work from there. If you use the Square Foot Gardening method, you can harvest a surprisingly large supply of veggies in a small space, and best of all this method cuts your weeding time down to almost nothing. It's easy to cut up a crop of carrots, blanch them quickly in boiling water, and then store them in the freezer with reusable freezer bags. Then you have garden grown pre-cut carrots for soups for the whole year. Makes wintertime dinners so much easier!

If you're excited by these ideas, let me suggest a couple resources for you:

To learn more about your local growing environment, check out the nearest university or college website. Many of them have resource pages for gardeners like the one I often refer to:
http://www.uwyo.edu/barnbackyard/resources/gardening.html

Mel Bartholomew's method, Square Foot Gardening, is revolutionizing home gardens. Bartholomew was a genius gardener, and his method is really quite amazing, and pretty easy for beginners! Link to the foundation that he started:
https://squarefootgardening.org

For more information about indoor gardening, go here:
https://www.thekitchn.com/what-to-know-about-indoor-gardening-244938

And here are links to a couple books I've found really helpful:
https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780760362853
https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781603586153

Don't get depressed get GROWING!

2 comments:

  1. Great post! Helpful links. I love my home garden.

    ReplyDelete
  2. scrabblecheatboardNovember 4, 2019 at 3:50 AM

    you write the good information in this article. i read it carefully all things are so good,thanks for sharing this good information

    ReplyDelete