We love the flavors at the farmer’s market, and we hate the price of organic produce at the grocery store. The only way to make delicious, fresh and organic produce and save money is to start your own garden!
Team Green Adventures works with different sustainable organizations around Nashville to teach the community how to garden and grow produce. We also use our gardening skills to help those who don’t have access to fresh and healthy food. Hands on Nashville’s Urban Farm and Urban Green Lab are two organizations Team Green partners with to promote gardening and healthy living.
You’ll Save Money
Believe it or not, growing your own garden is cheaper than going to the grocery store. Packets of seeds usually cost less than a dollar. You can preserve the produce you grow through the winter by drying, freezing, or canning fruits and vegetables. You will also be less likely to throw out food because of the effort it took to prepare everything. You will have access to numerous nutritious plants with extras to share with your friends!
Your Body Will Thank You
Envision being able to walk out to your backyard to find an array of healthy fruits and vegetables. A garden will allow you to have easy access to healthy food with higher nutritional value. Vitamin content is strongest right after being picked. The taste of homegrown produce is guaranteed to be better than old fruits and vegetables that have been traveling for a while before they make it to the grocery aisle. Your homegrown food is also less likely to be contaminated. Jocelyn Jones, owner of Generous Earth Gardens, said, “One of the best parts of having your own vegetable garden is that you are taking responsibility for what is nourishing your body and soul.”
Help Reduce Contamination & Pollution
Air and water are polluted with pesticides and herbicides. Your garden would play a part in reducing the use of these chemicals while also avoiding unnecessary transportation to deliver produce from far-away places. The EPA estimates pesticides contaminate the groundwater in 38 states, polluting the main source of drinking water. The average child receives four times more exposure than an adult to at least eight commonly used cancerous pesticides in food. As Lester Brown, Founder and President of Earth Policy Institute, says, “We have not inherited the Earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children.” Raising a family to practice gardening is a great way to reshape the next generation.
Burn Calories & Relax
The raking, weeding, cultivating, and trimming required in the garden burn up a lot of calories. While gardening is a physical activity, it is also relaxing. In the garden you can de-stress, center your mind, and get fresh air and sunshine. You’ll look forward to working in the garden because you know that all of the hard work will pay off in the end when you make a delicious meal full of fresh and tasty vegetables.
Try Container Gardening!
Container gardening is perfect for beginning gardeners. You can easily avoid pests by keeping plants separated, and the buckets will keep animals from trampling over your garden or eating the produce. The containers are mobile if you move locations or need to move the plants indoors for a cooler setting. Container gardens can be placed on a porch, windowsill, boat, or even in a truck bed! Check out some photos from our recent small-scale gardening workshop with Urban Green Lab, Second Harvest, and Gardens of Babylon where we learned how to make our own self-watering container gardens!
10 Great Container Garden Vegetables:
- Lettuce/salad greens
Look for our Engage Green and Urban Farm Workshop events on our calendar to learn more about gardening and sustainability. We’ll be working with Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm on May 10th, and we’ll be hosting a workshop on community-supported agriculture with Urban Green Lab and Second Harvest on July 2nd, so we hope to see you there!
– Kate (Team Green 2014 Summer Intern)