When you grow your own food, you drastically reduce the distance it has to travel to get to your table! You also avoid potentially environmentally destructive farming practices, and rely less on an industry that wastes around half of all the food it produces. Remember, the challenge this month is not to grow 100% of all the food you eat, it is to expand your horizons a little bit and grow a little more than you used to. For those that have never grown anything, that's a single plant. For those that already have a garden, it could be an expansion of what you already have! Growing your own food goes hand in hand with composting, and both can be done in almost any living space! That's why both are a part of May’s challenge.
Everyone should compost and here is why! First off, organic compostable waste makes up approximately 40% of the average Canadian household's garbage. If this waste is composted instead of buried in a landfill it will provide many benefits, some notables include:
- Less material to transport to waste management facilities - an emissions savings as well as a cost savings for communities. Also if everyone composted landfills would have ~40% more space to use!
- "Preventing compostable material from breaking down in a landfill where it releases strong greenhouse gasses like methane.
- Soil is a very valuable (and diminishing) resource, composting organic waste essentially produces rich and nutritious soil (which is great for gardening!), while landfilling it wastes or contaminates it.
For those that know nothing about composting it can seem daunting, but do not fear! It is relatively easy to get started, requires very little work after the initial setup, and can be done in almost any living arrangement - house or apartment, rural or urban! Check out these guides to learn how to get started:
- Composting Guide by Eartheasy
- Vermicomposting Guide by Rodale
- Bokashi Composting Guide (Ideal for small spaces/ no yard!) Here’s what you need to know: https://gardenguidepost.com/bokashi/
- Electric Composting -check out the Lomi, and these other countertop composter options!
Check out these guides to get started on growing your own food:
- Apartment Growing Guide
- Growing Without a Yard
- Gardening Tips by the David Suzuki Foundation
- Growing Sprouts by the Spruce
For those of you who just cannot spare the time to grow something on your own, no worries! You can still get locally grown vegetables from your local farmer’s market or in the form of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box. Essentially this is a partnership between the farming and the consumer that allows farmers to secure money while providing consumers a predetermined amount of farm fresh produce. Generally you must pick it up from the farm, so it also offers a great opportunity for you to ask questions and learn a little more about where your food comes and what practices they are using! Check out the link for more information on how to find farmers that provided CSA boxes, and if that fails, head out to your local farmer’s market and ask some of the growers there.
Never forget that every action in the right direction is progress, so let's grow together in tackling climate change! Get them veggies!