How Growing a Garden Can Help Save the World

Reader Contribution by Emma Raven and Misfit Gardening
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You’ve heard it all before; the earth is warming and temperatures are increasing.  But in October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released an alarming report indicating that the rate of global warming is heading at 3 degrees Celsius not at the 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

A warmer world has some devastating consequences for every single species who call the Earth home.  The IPCC report urges for people to make changes to their everyday lifestyle like walk or bicycle for short distances, using public transport, eat less beef, cheese and dairy, insulating your home and turning the heating down to help keep the rate of warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

But, if those things are just not your jam, here are some ways you can help reduce your impact on emissions and the climate change in your garden right now.

Grow Your Own Food

Starting a garden and growing your own organic food cuts down emissions and fuel used in importing, exporting and transport of produce.  Start growing your vegetables, herbs and fruit in your own backyard and learn to eat seasonally and preserve your excess to eat later. Learn about intensive gardening methods so you can maximize the food you can grow in the space you have available.

An organic garden is the best way to grow your own food but if you can’t grow it, try finding it locally at a farmer’s market or the local produce section in a store.

If your local regulations allow, consider raising chickens, rabbits or quail for meat or eggs and make the most of what they produce by composting bedding and manure to feed your garden soil and grow healthy, nutritious food.

Compost Green Waste

Make the most of recycling facilities available in your town and make compost from your green waste.  You can compost paper, veggie scraps, fruit peels and other food waste. Learn how to compost even more kitchen waste like meat or fish using Bokashi and start turning your waste into food for your garden.

Compost helps to capture carbon and is the best way to fertilize your garden because it helps to improve the soil structure, add more beneficial microorganisms, retain water and can help reduce soil erosion.

Planting Trees

Planting more trees will help to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the air.  Trees do this by capturing carbon dioxide in the air during daylight hours in a process called photosynthesis. Planting trees doesn’t mean that you are going to lose space to grow food in your backyard. Even planting fruit trees will help tackle climate change and help you to grow even more food!

Consider planting fruit trees on small or dwarfing rootstocks and training them to stay manageable in your garden and try growing multi-grafted varieties of fruit trees which will produce more than one variety on different branches.  Plant your trees using the permaculture technique of guilds and grow other edible or medicinal plants around your tree.

Saving Seeds

Building your own seed banks and saving seeds from your garden will not only help your wallet but will help you to grow plants which are adapting to your local climate.  In a changing world we need to be saving seeds from plants which grew well in our gardens. By saving seeds you are also helping to preserve the diversity of produce and flowers which we grow and enjoy.

Participate in a local seed swap to share seeds which you have saved and try growing something new.  Growing a diverse garden of food crops and flowers also helps to support native pollinators and honeybees.

These 4 steps are easy ways for you to not only help to reduce your impact on climate change but also to be more self reliant and in control of how your food is grown or raised.  This is a great time to get started growing your own food so what’s keeping you from saving the world?

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