Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Green Living Feature of the Week - Home Organic Gardening

A key concept for sustainable living is the effort to eat locally as much as possible.  The ecological benefit of eating foods grown locally or regionally, rather than transported thousands of miles, is obvious: less waste of precious fuel resources, and reduced pollution from burning of the fuel. Additionally, large-scale industrial farming is also heavily dependent on chemical fertilizers and pesticides.  Negative effects of chemical fertilizers include the consumption of energy and other resouces and resulting pollution from the manufacture and transport of fertilizers, and chemical runoff into water tables.  Pesticide use has negative effects on species other than the targeted pests, and there are many natural, organic pest control methods.  While there is no guarantee that all locally-grown food is organically produced, in general, small local farmers tend to be better conservators of the land.

Other benefits:  locally-grown food is fresher, and purchase of locally-grown food keeps community  resources close to home, benefitting local farmers instead of large agri-business.

Organic home gardening is the ultimate in sustainable, local growing.  One's own yard is the closest possible source of  fresh foods. No transportation is required.  The home gardener can assure that pesticides are not used, and home-produced compost can replace chemical fertilizers.

Urban Homesteading is a growing trend (no pun intended).  Many home gardeners are devoting their entire yards to producing their own food.  There are a multitude of resources out there on the web.  Check out Path to Freedom.  It is one of my favorites.

6 comments:

Brian said...

Another great post! I think you would like The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes on pursuit of your Holiday 10K goals. Cheers. -brian.

Vern said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vern said...

Brian, I really need to read "The Omnivore's Dilemma;" I've heard a lot about it. It's one of the top two on my current "Want to Read" List. The other one is "Hot, Flat, and Crowded" by Thomas Friedman.

Thanks for the comments! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Just_because_today said...

For years I have wanted to grow my own vegetables, after all I only have two acres;) but it has never happened. I do buy from local farmer markets which are abundant in this area. I like your post.
Maybe next year you'll inspire me to grow at least tomatoes

Just_because_today said...

I'm still having a hard time posting a comment. My system does not like it. It is not a green computer, I guess

Vern said...

Hi Myriam,
We only have about a half acre. While I'm inspired by the urban homesteaders that use virtually all of their available land, so far we just grow a medium-size backyard garden. Maybe I'll be able to expand it in the future. For this first year in a new location, the most important thing is just to get one started! Tomatoes always take a good percentage of the space. There's nothing like a fresh-picked vine-ripened tomato!

That's great that you are able to buy from local farmer's markets, and that you have a lot to choose from. We have a few in this area, but I wish we had more...

Thanks for the comments, and have a Great Thanksgiving!