One of our favorite sustainable and fun suggestions to keep your family busy while cooped up at home is to start your own VICTORY GARDEN!
While growing your own food from scratch can be extremely rewarding, another benefit is reducing carbon emissions and waste. Oftentimes we only have to drive a few miles to get our groceries. While this may not seem like a lot, the majority of those produce items travel hundreds if not thousands of miles to end up at your local store. In fact, the Carbon Emission Factsheet from the University of Michigan stated that “eliminating the transport of food for one year could save the [greenhouse has] equivalent of driving 1,000 miles.” Growing your own food allows you to stop relying on traditional methods while simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint.
A study done in the United Kingdom actually found that personal gardens compose over 25 percent of the trees in non-forest environments!
Another benefit is having the power of what goes into growing your food. Conventional farming practices have been known to use harmful carcinogenic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. In 2007 the Environmental Protection Agency reported that agriculture use accounted for 80 percent of pesticide use in the United States. By having your own victory garden, YOU are the sole determiner of what you goes on/in your food and inevitably in you and your family's bodies.
To start your garden you will obviously need some seeds or plants to get you started. Please note that many stores have changed their policies and hours due to COVID-19. To help you maintain your luscious garden(s) many stores have opted for curbside pickup, online orders, and even appointment shopping, so be sure to pick a nursery that suits your needs.
- Orchard Nursery - order online, pick up only
- Biota Gardens Nursery - order online, curbside pick up
- McDonnell Nursery - phone/email order, appointment shopping
- Annie’s Annuals - on-site access with physical distancing, and mail order
- Alden Lane Nursery- check website for details
Here are some more tips and tricks to help you get started on a more sustainable and gratifying way to spend time at home:
- Use ground eggshells in your soil to add in some extra nutrients.
- To help reduce waste, consider reusing those old containers and even cooking utensils to add a whimsical touch to your garden.
- For those living in an apartment or with minimal outdoor space, one option could be vertical gardening! This innovative trick is great for growing a variety of plants and vegetables with limited space.
- A great addition to any garden is a compost bin and is a great and simple way to add nutrients to your garden
While sheltering in place, many people have found themselves with some extra free time, and while gardening is a great hobby to take on, it is important to note that you will not always have this additional time to tend to your garden. With this in mind, it is important to choose plants that do not require much attention. Some great summer options are basil, blackberries, and blueberries. While these are just a few, there are many guides that can help you decide what fruits and vegetables you should grow and when. Some great options are The Spruce Eats, Urban Farmer, and The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Upcoming garden-related events:
Sundays in the Gardens with the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour! - May 3
Sundays in the Gardens with the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour! - May 10
Fun With Kids In The Garden - June 27