Is starting a garden not an option? Here are 3 ways you can still get access to fresh produce.
I've been gardening for about 4 months now and I get it. Gardening isn't for everyone. Some people don't have the time or the patience for it. I'll tell you, it's been many a day that I've wanted to throw in the towel. Some people don't have the space to garden. And some people really just don't have a green thumb for major gardening projects. I understand and this blog post is dedicated to you. There are plenty of ways that you can have access to produce without buying stock in your local nursery. Here, I'm going to highlight 3 ways that are very dear to me that I think just about anyone can incorporate into their everyday lives.
Start a windowsill herb garden. Gardening can be as simple as growing the herbs you use regularly. If you don't have outdoor space, or if you have allergies that prevent you from spending a lot of time outside, consider starting a windowsill herb garden. Pick your favorite herbs and either plant them from seed or find 'starts' at your local nursery. Find a window that gets plenty of sun, but doesn't get super hot. Then, using container mix, replant your herbs into containers that will fit on your windowsill. You should water your herbs once a day, using just enough water where the soil bounces back like a sponge (any more and you're watering them too much). And make sure you put trays under your containers to catch the water that will drain out when you water them. As your herbs start to grow, make sure to harvest them regularly so that they continue to grow bigger and bushier. Try this windowsill herb garden kit from the Sustainable Seed Company.
Support your local farmer's market. Do you have a completely 'black' thumb when it comes to gardening? Then support those local growers who ALWAYS produce great fruits and veggies. Farmers, chefs, producers and artisans bring their wares to these markets and WE reap the benefits in several ways. First, there is less time from farm (or home) to market, ensuring that we have the freshest product, and reducing the amount of emissions going into our atmosphere. Secondly, you're supporting local businesses, bringing revenue directly to families and fueling our local economies. Now, we have even more access to local markets, with many cities, suburbs and towns adopting ways for consumers to support the people behind the product-not the companies that sell them. Here's a list of farmer's markets that encompass the DFW area. And if you're looking for sustainable ways to ditch the plastic and carry your produce, shop the Create + Restore Reusable Produce Bags. They're machine washable and made from repurposed materials.
Consider participating in a community garden. If you don't have the space or the time to dedicate to your own garden, consider becoming a part of a community garden. According to Wikipedia, a community garden is a " single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people." There are some community gardens where you control and harvest your portion of the land, but for a truly altruistic endeavor, consider volunteering with a community garden that helps people who don't have access to fresh fruits and veggies. The goal, here, is to grow produce for local food banks. There, you'll be in charge of specific tasks, like pulling weeds, picking the crop, or tilling to soil, keeping your responsibility to a whole garden at a minimum. An added bonus: some community gardens donate as little as 10% to local food banks, ensuring needy families have access to fresh foods. For the North Texas Food Bank's list of community gardens that are part of their Partner Garden program, click here.
There are many other ways out there that you can support the growers and makers in your community. Now, more than ever, it's important that the farmers and small businesses in your area feel your love and support. For more ways that you can support your local food and farmers, read this article on the Seedstock webpage. And to shop our "In the Garden" collection, a group of products dedicated to our love of the garden, click here.