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Organic Gardening

Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.

Reconnect With Your Food and Grow Your Own

Mike Lieberman FarmingGrowing our own food is something that is not new to human civilization. People have grown their own food for hundreds and thousands of years. It hasn't been until the past 100 to 200 years that we've put that responsibility in the hands of others and the industrialized food system.

I believe that this is one of the reasons for the health and obesity crisis that our country is currently facing. We have come to accept "food" as things that come out of boxes and packages. This "food" is stripped of nutrition and contaminated with chemical sprays.

Over the past few years, I've become more conscious and aware of our food choices. I now look deeper into them and can see why they matter, not only to my our own personal health, but to the health of our planet too.

It's apparent that we have become disconnected from our food source. We now pick our food off of store shelves instead of from the earth.

This is one of the main reason why I started urban gardening and growing my own food to re-establish that connection with my food. You can do this, too.

I didn't have any experience when I first started in the spring in 2009. During that time I was living in one of the least food growing friendly place in the world - New York City. That didn't stop me though. As I was able to grow on the fire escape on the fourth floor of my apartment building. Since that time, I've moved to Los Angeles where I now have a balcony garden.

Despite only having access to these small spaces, I've been able to grow fresh, organically grown produce for myself. Since I've started, I feel much more connected to my food because it's the result of my labor. Plus, it's much fresher as it gets eaten within minutes of being picked. It doesn't get any better than that.

When you grow your own food, you gain more of an appreciation of it because it's not always easy. We are very fortunate to live in a time where if we can't grow our own or our crop doesn't survive, we can go to the local store to pick some up. 

By no means do I think that everyone should go out and start growing all of their own food. That would be ridiculous, but I definitely think that growing at least one veggie or herb will start to make a difference in your relationship with food.

What are you going to start growing?

mike lieberman
3/18/2011 2:56:47 PM

@Fiddlejo Dope. I think I've spoken with the dude who is starting that company. @PinkMuslimah Can't find another good container to use that's eco-friendly and affordable at this point. @Tammie Exactly start small and build the way up.

3/18/2011 10:59:36 AM

There are some cool urban garden ideas going on in Minnesota. I stumbled upon this local outfit working with a modular and sub-irrigated concept. Pretty cool.

3/7/2011 1:17:05 PM

Cool, you use farmer's buckets! So do I.

tammie haley
3/7/2011 11:18:22 AM

I visited NY last year. The one thing that really depressed me when I went to visit was the lack of fresh veggies and herbs. Being from Portland, we grow a lot of our own veggies and fruit. (Even in the city) I'm very excited to hear that you've decided to make a go of it. I was raised on a small working farm, but moved to the city when I went to college. At first I didn't want to raise anything. (I thought was too much work.) After one year of eating produce from the store, I went back to growing at least some of my own food. The tasted is soooo much better. It is also cheaper. Every year since I've had some type of "garden". (Now going on 21 years.)The first year was just a tomato plant, a cucumber plant, carrots and radishes. We've since moved just out of the city to a house with a small back yard. I have crammed it full of fruit producting trees and shrubs. I have veggies growing where ever I can. There just isn't much grass left. It sounds like a lot of work, but I really try to keep it simple. I usually only spend 30mins a day doing something in the yard. (Ok maybe more in the summer because I have to pick all the produce.) I might not have the picture perfect landscape, but it has been providing us lots of fresh food year round. As you said. Start small and work you way up.