Grow Your Own
At Living Smart, becoming a food producer or the farmer of your household is a fabulous way to lower your carbon footprint; it will reduce food miles and packaging, and ensures you get the freshest produce! We like the Sustain group in Northern Rivers list of 6 great reasons to ‘Grow your Own’.
- Supplements your household food supply: Helps to save money on food Growing your own food can help cut the cost of the grocery bill. Instead of spending your dollars at the store spend time in the garden, outside, exercising, learning to grow your own food. With many plants, you can use the seed from one growing season to provide plants for the next – a self sustaining cycle that will cost you only a little time to keep going.
There is nothing more local than food grown in your own backyard, on your windowsills, or in patio containers – zero food miles! When your food travels around the world to get to you, it uses lots of energy which means lots of greenhouse gases. It’s not just the distance, it’s also the refrigeration along the way, and the energy that goes into packaging the food for the journey and storing it when it arrives.
You know exactly what goes into your food and exactly where it comes from: Commercially grown crops are often selected for their high yields, uniform appearance and long shelf lives rather than for quality and taste. When you grow your own, you can concentrate on the quality rather than the economics. Plus did you know that the average child receives four times more exposure than an adult to at least eight widely used pesticides in food. Food choices really do you make an impact now and into the future on your families health. Get the nutrition you need and enjoy tastier food grown by you.
You will get healthier in a number of ways: Not only will you end up eating more fruits and vegetables, but you will be getting added exercise, and working in the garden is a natural stress reducer. Your garden is also a great way to beautify your home environment and your community with sustainable edible planting.
Did you know that you can burn as many calories in 45 minutes of gardening as you can in 30 minutes of aerobics?
Enjoy a greater variety of your favourite fruits and vegetables: You can experiment with heritage seeds or join seed savers so you can choose from hundreds of different varieties and you can grow the things you like the best.
Teach your children or grandchildren: Pass on important food skills and help young people to build a knowledge bank about where food actually comes from and that it doesn’t come from the supermarket but from the soil, the earth that we all depend on.For inspiration watch this local short film of Food; Past, Present and Future.
Need help getting started?Try this FREE Quick and Easy Organic Veggie Patch Kit from Sunshine Coast local Nicola Chatham, or the very comprehensive $9.95 Getting Started ebook from Veggie Beds.
Some other helpful resources to help you on your way:
- Green Harvest - Specialise in seeds and plants that are the backbone of organic and Permaculture systems. They have a comprehensive free online Organic Gardening Resource Guide that includes a wide range of seeds (including organically certified), propagation supplies, tools and accessories for the garden, organic pest management solutions and books.
- Herbs Are Special - Shipard's Herb Farm. Isabell Shipard is well known for her books and passion for the health benefits of herbs.
- The Seed Savers' Network - An Australian-based organisation that encourages the preservation of local varieties of useful plants. There are more than eighty Local Seed Networks for local gardeners around Australia.
challenges, tools and games.
Useful Tips and Facts
- Attend a local cheesemaking course
- Become a Seedsaver
- Celebrate the seasons
- Discover the joy of sprouting
- Eat less dairy
- Eat less meat
- Explore cooking with tropical foods
- Grow some of your own fruit and veg
- Incorporate Bushfoods into your garden and diet
- Learn to cook new seasonal menus
- Plant a Balcony Garden
- Visit your local markets and find your local food producers