With the current food crisis, everyone who has the space should be planting a garden. The cost of food has hurt everyone around the world. But we can help fight the food shortages by growing our own vegetables and fruit.
Experts are saying that the current food shortages are just the beginning of a long period of struggle over not having enough food to go around. And it may seem that the individual can do little about this. But that is not true, even a few extra tomatoes, a bit more lettuce or another orange tree can help stretch food supplies.
Now if you have a back yard, it seems pretty obvious what to do. Dig up a section of your yard and plant some seeds. But what if you live in an apartment or have limited yard space? Here is what my brother did – who lives in an apartment with a porch and some sidewalk space. He created his garden by using some planter boxes. Three years ago, he added a dwarf orange tree in a big redwood tub to his porch. This year, the tree produced enough oranges for about a month’s normal eating.
This year, he placed two long planter boxes along a sidewalk near his front door. In the long planters, he is growing tomatoes and some lettuce and a couple of strawberry plants just for fun. With the price of produce – especially tomatoes, he expects that what he spend less at the grocery store, will be equal to what he as invested in his “garden.”
Again his little bit of extra food may not seem a lot, but if another 10 million families added a garden or expanded their current one, in this country alone – the pounds of extra produce would quickly add up.
And, of course, you don’t have to plant fruits and vegetables, if it does not interest you. Flowers and other trees will help the animal life around you survive – birds, bees, wasps, lady bugs, butterflies, spiders and a multitude of other species will love it if you grow something new.
It fascinates me to go out to my garden and find tiny little wasps catching even smaller insects. Or at night, seeing a host of spiders set up their webs in the vines and branches of my plants. They will be gone by daylight after devouring a variety of pests.
Any little bit of a garden you can add will help life – whether you add a human food crop or some other plant for its beauty or usefulness. And when you do start adding to your garden – consider using heirloom seeds and plants. You will be helping preserve genetic varieties that may be needed in the future.
And, of course, go organic. There is no need to use harmful chemicals in your new garden. Your local nursery has organic potting soil and fertilizers. And for fighting off insect pests, you can buy lady bugs and praying mantises. Your kids will be fascinated by either of this helpful insects.
In the last century, during a major war, the citizens of the United States were all encouraged to plant Victory Gardens. I believe it is time to renew that kind of citizen action to fight the current food crisis. Go ahead, get your thumb green!