|Right in Our Own Backyard
Whether you plant your own Victory Garden like First Lady Michelle Obama or partake of the bounty at one of San Diegos many Farmers’ Markets, eating locally is a delicious and rewarding way to go green by reducing food miles. A food mile is the distance food travels from the farm to the store where you buy it and these miles are costly to the environment. Because long-haul trucking requires enormous amounts of fossil fuel, food miles are among the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. In fact, there is even a name for someone who pays attention to where their food comes from — Locavore.
Come to think of it, long before it was a fashionable label, my grandparents were Locavores. To jumpstart his garden every spring, my grandpa would build minature hothouses out of old windows he had salvaged as a contractor. And just like the contestants on “Chopped,” my grandma would whip up a meal using only the harvest from the day. Cucumbers and tomatoes were a staple on their dinner table, along with green beans, fresh peas, cauliflower and broccoli. I remember how excited Grandpa was the year he discover kohlrabi.
My gardening skills pale in comparison to my grandparents, but every spring I hit the local nursery to load my cart with seedlings. This season we planted three varieties of tomatoes, including “Mr. Stripey,” an heirloom that looked interesting, plus zucchini, lemon cucumbers, sweet peas, watermelon, canteloupe, red peppers and a straight neck squash. Last year the zucchini practically took over the backyard, but the kids loved eating them right off the vine!
Don’t let the thought of gardening intimidate you. It really isn’t that hard, and after the initial time spent digging up a spot and dropping in the seedlings, all you need is a reminder to water and some patience. It could be as simple as one cherry tomato plant in a container on your front porch.
If a garden appeals to you, but the work doesn’t, Karen Contreras of Urban Plantations will come to your home, evaluate your growing area and install an edible landscape personalized to your needs that is both beautiful and productive!
To see how my garden grows — scroll down for weekly photo updates!
For a list of local Farmers' Markets — click here
Urban Plantations • 619-563-5771 • urbanplantations.com