Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grow Your Own. Share With Everyone.

Keeping the theme of the some of the last few posts going, I think I should add growing your own food to the list of positives. It's a challenge for many urbanites, us included, but the benefits will far outweigh the hassles.

In our case, we have a reasonably-sized back yard, but, as mentioned before, it gets very little sunlight on the ground due to a dense tree canopy. Our front yard is much more modest. It does get some sun in places, but I'm not sure I want my decorative ornamental plantings to be cucumbers and tomatoes.

So our solution to the problem is to build a large wooden box on legs and grow veggies on our second floor roof. I figure I'll build and place the box so that it's right outside of and level with one of our third floor windows, allowing easy access without having to crawl outside. There's plenty of sunlight because we're above the treeline there, and keeping our produce off the ground should keep more of the spoils in our and our friends' hands and less in those of wandering food pilferers.

I wouldn't know how to accurately calculate the money you can save growing your own food, since I don't know yet what seeds cost, how much water is required, etc. Water in the city is far more expensive than water in Baltimore County (even though we share the same reservoirs (go figure that one.) Still, with food prices climbing higher all the time, growing your own has to be, in the long run, less expensive. Plus, you know where it came from, and you know it's chemical-free (unless you chose to use chemicals.)

I read an article a few days ago that blasted the food industry for selling sub-par produce. Large factory farms are, over time, creating strains of vegetables that favor faster growth and hardiness over taste and nutrition. Makes sense, given their business model. But why would you want to buy from them? A tomato without flavor or nutrition is just a water balloon. Water balloons are fun, but I don't want them in my salad (unless it's a salad I plan on throwing at someone.)

There are so many different varieties of veggies. Scores of types of heirloom tomatoes. None of which you'll ever find at a grocery store. A good farmer's market, sure. But they'll cost you. Grow your own, and for very little green you'll have plenty of green (and red, and yellow, and purple) for yourself and an army of your closest friends.

1 comment:

  1. i still have never tasted a better tomoto then the ones i use to grow on willoughby rd