Green Thumbs Up!

DIY Patio Vegetable Garden

When you picture a vegetable garden, you picture and large luscious plot of land with lots of greenery, huge bunches of lettuce, carrots sugar coated with dirt fresh from the ground and tall trees filled with the bright colors of apples and oranges waiting to be plucked from the trees. Most people think that growing a garden, let alone a vegetable garden is exclusive to people who have land. This isn’t the case. It is not impossible to grow your own food in small spaces at all.

Having fresh healthy food should be a basic human right. If your living on a budget, buying healthy, organic and fresh food just isn’t a reality. Food prices are skyrocketing and the food that is most affordable is not good for your health, fat filled foods with loads of sugar and chemicals added.  It should be the opposite.

Food in the grocery store is not only expensive but heavily packaged. Its crazy what companies will wrap in plastic that doesn’t need to be. I see everything from apples to garlic, packaged unnecessarily. Plastic has become a huge problem. The good news is there are tons of ways you can help with this problem. It’s always important to remember to be better not perfect. Growing one tomato plant saves one or two plastic clam shells from going into the landfill or even into the ocean and if you continue to grow tomatoes you save even more plastic waste. Did you know only 9% of the world’s plastic ever made has been recycled.  A great way to help even a little bit is growing your own food, even if you have a small space.

I live in a small one bedroom apartment and have a small patio. I always thought that because of this there was no way I could grow my own food, it just wasn’t possible. I was wrong! Whether you’re growing from seed or you buy starter plants, you have plenty of room to grow food, even if it’s just something simple

I started by going to my local garden store and grabbing their used, recycled pots. This is a great way to reduce plastic waste. Next I grabbed starter plants that are harder to grow from seeds, and seeds of things I want to grow and eventually eat! These were things like cilantro, mint, lettuce, zucchini, potatoes, garlic, herbs and many more. Then i grabs organic dirt to start my planting. I took me about 3 nights to plant all the seeds and put them outside. They are now flourishing. I can see the food beginning to grow and it has changed my relationship with food. Watching it grow has been and still is an amazing experience. Its calming to take a break from the world and water,harvest, and care from your food and nurture and grow it, when it reaches your table is such a satisfying and fulfilling feeling.

That being said, I am not a professional gardener, this is my first year growing my own food and I have been pleasantly surprised at how much fun I have been having. I have however had challenges. Somethings are hard to grow from seed, and some plants start to die and I try to help it as much as I can but nothing seems to work. I have gone to the garden store many time seeking advice and learning something new every time. The only way to learn is to do it. The more you try the more you succeed.

My goal going into this challenge of growing some over my own food was to reduce my plastic waste, but I didn’t even think about the money it is saving me in the long run. If you buy a package of seeds, say for $3, that package of seeds is going to give you multiple seeds giving you multiple plants and each of the plants produces many pieces of food. Now this is just one pack of seeds, imagine how much food you could grow with 3 or 4 seed packages, you could be saving money and saving the environment!

Gardening takes a lot of time and planning but if you think of it as an investment, it makes the idea a lot better. You are investing your time and energy, but in return, you have fresh food to eat for you and your family, you save money, you get a fun new hobby and not to mention the gorgeous green you get to look at every day! Now what are you doing reading this still, get your green on!

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