Growing Food at Home is Easy!
Who can grow food at home?
Anyone can grow some amount of food at home. It’s easier than you might think! How involved you get depends on how much time you’re willing to put into it and how much space you have. You can get started by spending a few minutes per week setting up some herbs or lettuce on your kitchen windowsill. You may find before long you’ve gone full hippy with a vegetable patch or an allotment!
Why grow food?
Homegrown food almost always tastes better! There is the combined benefit that you know exactly what chemicals (if any) went into growing your dinner! There is very little as satisfying as biting into homegrown food. Aside from this there are some surprising benefits to your health and the environment.
The food system can benefit from transitioning to a circular economy, where locally-produced food is an important aspect of reducing waste and shorten supply chains!
How can growing your own food help your health?
Getting out to tend to plants has been shown to have a beneficial effect on our physical and mental health. Just having plants growing indoors has been shown to positively impact our mental health, and getting out into the garden and digging burns 200-500 calories and helps maintain a healthy weight.
How does growing your own food help the environment?
Food you buy in the supermarket has a high carbon footprint as it has to be transported from all over the world to our shelves. Think about all the processes that are involved in producing the vegetables that you buy in the supermarket; the land use, the water, pesticides, machinery, labour, packaging, transportation, retail spaces…these all have an impact on the environment and emit greenhouse gasses.
Look at the list. The elements that you would still need to get the food to your plate if you grow your own fruit and veg are minimal. Yes, you would still need the land and water (though if you used rainwater you wouldn’t have any carbon emissions), but you would be able to cut out all the rest of the emissions that are generated to get commercially grown fruit and veg to you plate.
This means buying a piece of food will contribute more to climate change than growing it yourself. Even if you go out of your way to avoid plastic while you’re shopping, there will be plastic waste generated while transporting and storing it. You can avoid all this by growing your own!
How does growing your own food encourage the circular economy?
Growing your own food will reduce the amount of waste generated by your diet. If you combine it with activities like composting, you can help fight climate change and plastic pollution at the same time. There are growing communities of people interested in growing their own food all over the Forth Valley. Why not reach out on social media and see if there are people near you willing to share their expertise, or their produce!
Article Written By Daire Carroll