Growing your own food has gone beyond the hippie counter-culture of the ’60s. With the advent of books by the likes of Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver, people are taking a hard look at what they’re eating. Sadly (and not always surprisingly), the more we learn, the less we want to eat commercial, processed, packaged food or even fruits, vegetables or meat from big corporate aggie farms. What better way to take control and eat locally by producing food in your very own backyard?
It seems more and more people are doing just that, and even in urban areas. Let’s take a look at some growing trends.
People are really digging into the idea of growing their own produce. Why settle for a boring lawn or shrubbery when you can walk a few steps to your backyard into an edible forest of fresh onions, chard, spinach, lettuce and squash? As one recent article in the Denver Post put it, “soil is the new oil,” and last year seed sales seriously sprouted, according to USA Today. Because let’s face it – with the growing uncertainty of our times with tech, financial, and housing bubbles crashing left and right, oil prices rising and the value of the dollar falling, self-sufficiency is sounding better and better.
And yet, why only rely on your own garden? In an interesting interview with Carol Deppe about her new book The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times, Carol mentions humans’ need to be both self-reliant and interdependent. By sharing ideas and tools, we all become more self-reliant and better survivors. It is in just this way that urban citizens are joining together to trade excess fruit and vegetables from each other’s yards. Numerous trading hubs are popping up in the Bay Area, for one. Check out VeggieTrader, a “classifieds” website for easy produce trading!
Thinking about starting your own garden? For inspiration, consider these 10 Easiest Vegetables to Grow at Home or perhaps start small with an herb garden.