Gardening trends tend to come and go but organic vegetable gardening has attracted increasing interest over recent times. With the long term sustainability of our planet a shared concern of many, it looks like this trend is here to stay!
Even our heads of state are joining this movement. Michelle Obama’s promotion of organic vegetable gardening started soon after she moved into the White House. The Queen of England has a new garden called ‘The Yard Bed’. This is the first vegetable garden to replace the royal ‘Dig For Victory’ garden planted during the second world war.
There are two main benefits of organic vegetable gardening and these are gaining appeal around the world. First you can save money when you grow your own vegetables. Second you can reduce your carbon footprint -the amount of carbon dioxide you create either directly or indirectly.
Saving money is possible by growing organic vegetables despite the set up costs of tools, equipment, fertilizers and water. The best way to counter balance the costs of establishing a garden is maximize the yield of your garden. To do this, only grow vegetables you enjoy and will eat. Select those that you can easily freeze or can like tomatoes, beets and sweet corn or cucumbers. These can be eaten past their growing season and reduce your grocery bill at the same time. Other vegetables like potatoes and squash can be stored without cooking.
Melons and tomatoes are expensive vegetables. They are also popular and frequently purchased at the supermarket. Grow large numbers of these vegetables along with comparatively expensive broccoli, beans, beets, spinach and onions and lettuces to reduce your food costs.
Grow vegetables year round. In many districts, vegetables can be grown and harvested to keep your family in vegetables pretty much all year. With some experience and some preplanning you can even grow more than one crop across each season in the same place.
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint is an equally important reason for the popularity of the organic vegetable gardening movement.
Growing an organic vegetable garden makes an ongoing contribution to sustaining our planet. Vegetable gardens don’t add carbon dioxide to the environment. They don’t need mowing with electric or petrol mowers as lawns do. Growing vegetables also reduces your ‘food miles’, (the distance food travels to reach your supermarket).
By composting plant material in your garden you are not only producing organic fertilizer that will add nutrients to your vegetables, you are also preventing the production of carbon dioxide and methane that happens when organic matter ends up at in landfill.
As water is predicted to be the next ‘Gold’, use this precious resource in your garden with thought and care. Collect rainwater for irrigation and or use grey water from your house. My grandfather did the latter in a desert area for many years and provided his own family and most of the neighborhood with vegetables year round.
The First Lady and the Queen of England have less need to save money than most but their efforts to promote the benefits of organic vegetable gardening can be applauded. Consider starting your own organic garden so that you can enjoy a less expensive grocery bill and make your own contribution to a more sustainable earth.