It may not be obvious, or maybe it is, but I think in 2013 vegetable gardening will be more important than ever. There are a myriad of reasons why I believe this and you can pretty much observe it everywhere you go, some sign that points to the importance of gardening. Let’s examine a few of signs of the growing momentum of the garden for this edition of The Friday Fives.
First of all lets look at the economy. I bet you saw this one coming. You would have had to have been living under the proverbial rock to not know that the economy isn’t doing so hot! So many people are still unemployed, prices in the grocery store are getting more expensive, and people need ways to save money. The garden can do that and many people are turning to community gardens and backyard gardens to grow their own groceries. This is one benefit to having a lousy economy. Not that I recommend having a lousy economy to anyone! Sometimes you just have to look for the good in the bad and try to think more positive. Growing vegetables in raised beds, in the ground, or in pots can save you a lot of money if you spend the time to cultivate it.
Second I think there is a greater awareness of the health benefit of eating vegetables. I like that juicy, mouth watering, red meat burger covered with multiple slices of bacon and cheese just as much as anyone but we both know that those experiences should be kept special and sacred. Meat should remain a smaller portion on our plates while fruits and vegetables should make up the bulk of the meal. It’s healthy to grow your own food and be out there working in the garden. More people today realize this!
I also think that there is a growing awareness of what chemicals we put on our food. In the backyard you know what you put on your lettuce. You know if it’s some chemical concoction more suitable for cleaning industrial smoke stacks than feeding your children. You know if it’s something simple and harmless and can be can be reassured that you are putting chemical free stuff on the dinner plate. You have the control and a having little more control over your life is a good thing.
That tomato from your garden is better tasting than that one in the store. I guarantee it! Why? Because it grew on the vine longer, because it spent more time in the sun absorbing light and building up natural sugars, and because it didn’t get picked three weeks ago then brought across the country to a store where it sat for another week waiting for some tomato loving shopper to give it a home. Growing the home garden is fresher than anything you can find in the stores!
My last reason why gardening is going to continue to grow strong this year is…drumroll… farmer’s markets. Farmer’s markets are awesome places to find fresh produce if you can’t grow them at home either due to lack of time or space. At a farmer’s market is you can talk to the people who grow the food. At the supermarket you can talk to a clerk who put the veggies on the shelf. You can learn what they put on the vegetables and get all the benefits of a garden without doing the work! The more people visit farmer’s markets the more people end up growing to produce at farmer’s markets which ultimately increases the number of people growing at home in their garden. Farmer’s markets are learning places for consumers. Have you ever met a farmer who didn’t like to talk about how he grew his crop? Well maybe that guy trying to grow competition size pumpkins but most people like to share their knowledge with people who have similar interests. It also builds trust between the farmer and the customer. You can learn a lot about growing your home garden from the people at the market.
Those are five reasons I can come up with but if I know I could keep find more reasons to advocate gardening in 2013. Why will you be gardening in 2013?