Welcome to the third installment of Going Green!
Previous Going Green posts include:
By growing your own food, supporting local farmers, and/or joining a community garden, you’ll not only be getting the freshest, healthiest, and most delicious food available, you’ll also help save the planet from some nasty carbon emissions.
What carbon emissions, you ask?
Did you know that in America, grocery store produce often covers around 1,500 miles before landing on the dinner table?And that’s only the stuff actually produced in America–imagine how much traveling imported fruits and veggies do!
All that transportation adds up to a whole bunch of extra *blech* in the air—completely unnecessary as you can grow your own food, participate in a community garden, or simply buy from local farmers’ markets.
Popularity of Home Gardens in America
Home gardens are increasingly popular, not only for the fresh fruits and vegetables but also because they are a great way to save money. The National Gardening Association estimates that about 20% more American households than last year will plant gardens, and many are doing so to pinch pennies.
Hey, even the President Obama and First Lady Michelle are gardening these days! It’s the coolest!
Home Gardens on the Homefront, i.e., Calabria, Italy
Here in rural Calabria, it’s rather common for people to keep an “orto” full of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. You may remember my mentioning our “giardino” here on the blog in the past, but unfortunately as it doesn’t get much sun, we could never plant much; we had peppers, parsley, basil, and that’s about it.
But, through a great stroke of luck since Pasqualina came to stay with us, P and I have secured a plot of land very close to the house we’re slowly moving into as it’s remodeled…and it’s gardening time!
This piece of land gets sun all the live long day, which is perfect for all kinds of fruits and veggies. The “orto” already had lemon, orange, fig, and peach trees, and (after spending *many* hours cleaning up the essentially abandoned land) we have added onions, garlic, lettuce, artichokes, basil, and parsley.
Soon we’ll also plant eggplants, peppers, and, of course, tomatoes! Whee!
Now, some resources to get you started on becoming more green:
How to start a garden:
- About.com Guide to Gardening by Marie Iannotti
- Eat Healthy and Save Money with a Vegetable Garden (ABC.com)
- Planning a Vegetable Garden (National Gardening Association)
- Teach Your Kids How to Start a Garden (Better Homes and Gardens)
- Tomato Casual especially for tomato lovers
- Urban Garden Casual for city dwellers and those who think they have no space for a garden
All about community gardens:
- American Community Gardening Association
- Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network
- Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (UK)
- National Garden Association (US)
Find local farmers to support:
- Australian Farmers’ Market Association
- BigBarn – The Virtual Farmer’s Market (UK)
- LocalHarvest.org (US)
- SustainableTable.org (US)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers’ Market Map
If you know of more helpful sites on gardening, etc., (especially international ones), please share in the comments!
Are you gardening this year? Do you normally garden?
P.S. For those wondering what has happened to Cherrye’s My Bella Vita, there are some technical details that she’s working furiously on–don’t worry, she’ll be back as soon as possible!