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Knowing the Source of Your Produce: Growing Your Own Garden

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This week's blog entry is from a guest writer. If you are interested in your article or blog entry being featured on the TLC blog, contact nicole@thelandconnection.org.

By: Sally Writes

Knowing the origin of your food is essential, especially when it comes to your produce. It is only when you have this knowledge that you can be sure you are consuming quality fruits and vegetables. The local farmers' market is full of amazing local fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and more! Local farmers are often happy to share their growing methods with you. Even when you are aware of the details surrounding the growing methods of your produce, you may still desire to have control over these growing methods. One way to have total control over your fruits and vegetables is to grow your own. When you plant your own garden, you create the shortest distance from farm to table, you get to select the materials used in the growing process, and you get to watch your plants morph from seed to food.

Interested in growing your own produce? Here are several tips for creating a sustainable and healthy garden in your own backyard.

Compost

Composting serves two primary purposes: it helps reduce waste in landfills and it creates a wonderful, natural way to enrich your soil. Compost is good for cucumbers, tomatoes, and many other vegetables that are commonly grown in backyard gardens. Specifically, compost helps plants to avoid disease, helps maintain proper moisture levels in your soil, and it has the potential to enhance the flavor of your produce. Compost is easy to make, and requires little effort to reap its incredible benefits.

Choose organic plants/seeds

When you build your own garden, you control what goes into it. This includes the types of plants or seeds that you use. As you select which fruits and vegetables to grow in your garden, be sure to choose organic.

Save water: use a rain barrel

To keep your garden as eco-friendly as possible, use a rain barrel to collect rainwater. This water can then be used to water your plants, which eliminates the need to use extra water. Rain barrels can easily be found in a variety of stores and online, usually for under $100.

Growing your own food is a rewarding way to get closer to nature and to the source of your health, but many people cannot grow a complete diet in their backyard Be sure to visit your local farmers' market or join your local CSA for access to fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, and grains to fill out the menu in your home kitchen.

 

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