Different Ways to Grow Your Own Food

Samantha Zeitz

Growing your own food is not only one of the best ways to ensure a steady supply of fresh, safe food; it is also environment friendly. Store-purchased products are often riddled with chemicals and transporting, packaging and storing supermarket food uses a lot of energy. Here we offer up various ways to grow your own food.

1. Container garden: Even if you don’t have the space for a full fledge garden there are still many herbs, vegetables and fruits that can grow in containers. Try planting some thyme, rosemary, basil or garlic chives to start. You can even plant strawberries in a pot or hanging basket.
2. Square foot gardening: If you want to grow your plants outside but are still limited in space, square foot gardening can help you make the most of the space you do have. Section off individual square foot areas with a wooden grid and grow your plants closer together than “single row” gardening. This area can hold anywhere from a plant the size of a watermelon to 16 plants the size of herbs.
3. Planting in the dark: If you’re worried about your plants not getting enough light try planting something that does well in the dark. Home mushroom kits can produce great tasting fungus.
4. Hydroponics: Not all plants need to be grown in soil. This gardening method requires a small amount of coconut fiber, sand or gravel to help the seed sprout. Once the roots are there you can transfer it into nutrient and mineral-rich water. However, some plants like root vegetables don’t do as well with hydroponics.
5. Aquaponics: This method combines hydroponics with raising fish. The fish live in the water where the plants are to help with fertilization. You can use this practice to not only grow plants for food but also to raise fish for food.
6. Make use of your balcony: If you live in an apartment or condo, there’s possibilities to plant fresh veggies on your balcony. You can start with the traditional herbs and spices in balcony planters but you don’t have to stop there. Make a homemade salad and grow lettuce leaves, kale and spinach in the planters.

No matter where you live you can find a way to grow fresh vegetables and herbs. Not only are they more nutritious than store bought, growing your own food saves transportation costs, as well as energy. Did you know an average distance of 1,500 km is travelled before food actually gets to the consumer? Long distance travel relies heavily on fossil fuel. Conventionally grown crops also tend to have pesticides on them so if you grow your own you control what goes on those veggies and what doesn’t.