Ever bitten into a store-bought cherry tomato only to discover it tastes faintly like the chemicals commonly used to disinfect toilets?
We have. That, folks, is a literal taste of modern factory farming. The same crops are grown in the same place, year after year, which depletes the soil and paves the way for crop devastation due to pests. In come the genetically modified seeds and the heavy-duty chemical soil additives, fertilizers, and pesticides to rectify the situation. Those chemicals become a part of the plants, and by extension, a part of you.
We’ll give you a moment to stop gagging.
Growing your own fruits and vegetables means one less person (or family) is contributing to that factory-farming apocalypse. It means you are in control of what goes into your fresh fruits and vegetables. It means you are taking your health out of the hands of Big Agribusiness and Big Oil (it takes lots of petroleum to truck that produce around the world!) and putting it back into your own. It means your fruits and vegetables will taste far better than anything you could ever pick up at the supermarket.
You don’t need 40 acres and a mule to grow your own fruits and vegetables. You don’t even need a big yard – you can successfully grow a container garden on your deck or porch (or even in a sunny window), it just takes a little extra care and planning. After all, you really don’t want your 50th floor patio deck collapsing onto the street below because you didn’t take into account how much your containers would weigh when full of soil, water, and produce.
You do need plenty of light – so start looking around your home and make note of where sunlight and bright daylight linger the longest, because that is where you will plant (or place, as the case may be) the bulk of your garden. You will need a good imagination – there is no rule that a garden should be a rectangle with long rows of vegetables. You will need the ability to plan ahead and keep detailed, accurate records…and a healthy attitude towards trial and error. Sometimes crops fail. Find out why, and try again next time, learning from your mistakes (those detailed, accurate records will prove invaluable here).
Last but not least, you will need to be willing to get dirty. If you’re still with us…welcome to the world of Urban Organic Gardening.