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24.01.2015 admin
Although you might think you wouldn’t grow enough to make a difference to your grocery bill each week, you would be surprised at how much having a small patch in the back yard will actually produce and how much you will save on your food bills.
If you don’t have the room or the energy to transform your back yard to grow your own food, you could try joining a local community garden where you will not only find space to grow your own, you will most likely find a community of like minded folk and enjoy the social interaction that this provides as well. Even if you start with a few herbs in pots or containers on your balcony, the satisfaction that growing your own food provides far outweighs the energy of giving it a go.
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January 22, 2015 by Isis Loran 4 Comments There are so many benefits to growing your own food that you might not need to hear the reasons.
Rising Cost of Produce: If there is a drought, severe frost or large-scale weather disaster prices always go up, sometimes abruptly. Healthier Produce: Food is often grown full of pesticides and artificial fertilizers that end up in your body. Taste: The produce at your grocery store was picked under-ripe because of the time it needed to spend in transportation. More Food Independence Have you ever thought about what would happen if you went to the grocery store and there was no food? Saves $: Although there are initial start-up costs to gardening (I call it an investment into your family’s health and well-being) and upkeep costs (seeds, soil amendments etc) over time you’ll save money on your grocery bills by growing your own food. Organic Produce You Can Trust: Have you been buying organic for years and consider yourself supporting something better for the planet and your health? Organic Produce You Can Afford: Let’s face it, even if you can find an organic company you can trust, it will often be far more expensive that its conventional counterpart (depending on the vegetable or fruit variety and the time of year). Children: Is there anything better for a child’s education that experiencing the magic and wonder of growing seeds? Health, Exercise, Fresh Air: Most of our jobs or daily life functioning tends to be indoors.
Reduces your Carbon Footprint: How many of you have stopped to really think about where your food came from before the store? Back Up Food Security Although many people do not like to think of this scenario, it’s a real one. Reduced Food Waste Although a lot of produce doesn’t have packaging, a lot does and many people will grab a plastic bag for each produce item.
Food Safety Food grown on a large-scale might be cheaper for some, but it also increases bacteria and contamination rates. Farm Costs and Regulations: Most farming costs are becoming too much for small farmers or new laws arise that inhibit their ability to function alongside the conventional giants.
Soil Quality: The majority of our global topsoil is greatly depleted, and large-scale crops are grown with chemical fertilizers as a result. We’re a family of 5 that lives on a mountainside forest in the west Kootenays of British Columbia, Canada. We love family food gardening & our family is involved with the whole process from planning, seeding, growing, harvesting & eating together. Derrick Ng looks like your average Singaporean, except that he is also an urban farmer with the skills to run a farm and produce quality, pesticide-free leafy vegetables, and an entrepreneur running a F&B and farm business. He grows vegetables at home and at his community garden, and specialises in growing mostly the common leafy vegetables such as Chye Sim, Pek Chye and Chinese Cabbage. If you have space at home along your corridor, balcony or yard, why not start growing some vegetables, herbs or fruits? If you’re a newbie in gardening, the National Parks Board (NParks) has compiled some gardening tips and resources to help residents who are interested to start gardening at home. You can also check out Green Culture Singapore, an active gardening discussion forum, where you can find out more info and seek advice on how to grow edible plants, including leafy and fruit vegetables, herbs and fruits. Some of the CIB gardens grow fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and spices, and the residents get to enjoy the harvest. If you wish to start a community garden in your estate with your neighbors, you can approach NParks for advice and help. Start today to grow your own food at home or in the community to better appreciate your food and waste less. I have a small plot in my backyard that provides all kinds of produce with every changing season and I know how it was grown and what was used to produce it. We do find that we need to protect our leafy greens from hungry possums by using wire or netting around the plants, but we always plant some extra greens to keep them happy.

But if you’re a beginner gardener and you need that kick to get on your rubber boots and grow some food then this list is for you! The rising cost of watering farms (as we’ve recently seen with the ongoing drought in California) has created a price increase in North America the past couple of years, and if the drought continues prices will continue to go up.
By spending just a little more on seeds and using organic compost and soil amendments and not spraying for pests (using methods like companion planting and creating healthy soil for healthy plants etc) you too can grow your own organic food. When you spend the time to grow food (just cut out some of your TV watching a week), you slow down.
Seeing and being a part of where your food comes from is something modern-day children are greatly lacking. Gardening gets us outside and with a purpose, and we gain the benefit of being healthier by weeding or hoeing, digging and harvesting from our garden in fresh air. It would be nice to think that food will always be at the grocery store waiting for us, but the reality is that food comes from a delicate and global system and when one thread goes wrong it the whole thing can crumble.
There have been many recalls on produce in the past couple of decades which have caused many people to get very sick or even die.
As a result the small farmers are lacking the ability to compete or grow with these large-scale farms, which means the majority of our food is now in the hands of a few large corporations. The mineral, trace elements and vitamin content of our soil has been greatly diminished thus the mineral and vitamin content of our produce is far less than it was decades ago.
Let’s face it, most of us buy a lot of produce intending to eat it all before it goes bad but sometimes things come up and you forget about them. We keep chickens, homeschool, forage for wild free food and aim for a crunchy homesteading lifestyle.
The vegetables are for his family and friends, and the balance will be supplied to the community and to his fish soup stall. He learns through experience and interaction with many growers or hobbyists who are plying the same trade, and also surfs the Internet for information and the theory behind managing commercial farms. I began to use my produce to sustain my fish soup stall to curb the hike in operation cost. This would also help to reduce the food wastage during transportation and storage, the resources spent, and carbon emissions generated from importing food. If you can use what you grow for cooking, we think you would appreciate your food better and think twice before wasting your food (ahem…unless your cooking is really bad). Since 2005, NParks has been running the Community In Bloom (CIB) programme to foster a gardening culture in Singapore and facilitate residents, schools or companies in setting up and sustaining community gardens. NParks has an online map of the over 400 CIB gardens where you can find a community garden near your estate and help out in the gardening. By growing your own food you can control how it’s grown and keep those things off your garden and produce. This reduces and alters the flavor of the food because it’s not harvested at the peak freshness level. During world wars (which who knows when the next one could be) food is always rationed out. The unfortunate fact is though that larger corporations that also run conventional farms and support GMO’s are buying out many small-scale or large-scale organic farms. You’ll  become aware that you’re a part of the process and the appreciation of food comes back. What if you replaced it with a garden that gave you something back instead of sucking up all your resources and water just for a green spot to stare at?
All it takes is a frost, drought, torrential rain or a hurricane in a location where the majority of our food crops are grown for things to tip-off balance. By growing your own produce you know how it was grown and what it came into contact with and you don’t have to worry about recalls.
This doesn’t sit well for our family and many others who wish for more food independence, or for the quality of our food to remain high (which is cannot be done on a large-scale or when growing standards and practices change). By growing our own food you can re-mineralize the soil (we use Azomite) and have healthy topsoil for healthier produce. Growing your own food means full access to the freshest vegetables and fruits at all times! And by growing them you’re supporting seed diversity as the gene pool has narrowed so much from mass conventional growing. Our goal is to increase our self-sufficiency a little more every year with the intention of living with the slower flow of the seasons.

He has also expanded his operation of growing vegetables at his Neo Tiew farm and will be able to increase production in the future.
To my surprise, my customers actually tasted the veggies and keep coming back and share with me that my veggies tasted sweet and crunchy. I do agree that no matter how much the supermarkets are claiming how fresh their vegetables are, the quality does not match up the cost (in money as well as environmental). They will munch it to the ground, but within days there are new shoots emerging for our possums to nibble on and it always comes back. Commercial or large-scale growers are also limited with what kinds and varieties they can grow based on what ships the best and what has the longest shelf life. By growing some of your own food, even if it’s a little bit more every year, you’re creating more food independence over time for such emergencies. This creates a shift of power and lack of certainty if you can now trust he new organic practices (which vary depending on certification and company standards). Even if you buy super awesome compost and soil you’re still getting far better value than spending that $3 on ONE head of organic lettuce. In times like these we often have to turn to our local food supply, which is why we should support it as much as we can to create some community stability. I then begin to think how I’m able to reach out to more people to buy and eat my veggies that are organically grown in soil.
It is heart-warming to know there are people like Derrick who actually take action to find a long term solution to a long term problem. My first year, I just got a bunch of lettuce seeds, kicked up the mud, sprinkled the seeds on the ground, and kicked some more mud over the top.
By growing food you’re getting a small feel for what it was like decades ago before the grocery stores came. After the consultation, the doctor will always prescribe us with either common cold or flu medicine with the occasional antibiotics.
We’ve also found that by taking the netting off during the day, allows birds to feed on caterpillars and  grasshoppers to help keep our leafy greens happy and pest free. When we start tracing back the food footsteps, you’ll be surprised at how much oil and gas it took to grow, get to you via transportation, and the energy required to stay fresh at the store. These are just a few examples of the chemical free deterrents we use and we are happy to know that we are helping our wildlife to sustain themselves as well.
By growing your own (or even supporting local farmers) you are drastically reducing your carbon footprint. So, I decided to take the matter into my own hands and started to grow my own veggies along the corridor. The English are very good at gardening, with their straight lines and bits of string, but that’s not me.
This goes beyond produce too, if you can support a local farmer for eggs, meat, dairy etc then do it! For the first year, that’s not bad.If you have a go at something easy like lettuce, then grow some squash or pumpkins next time. If I’m growing an apple tree, it will take a year or two to get one or two apples, and it will take another 20 or 30 years to get a lot of apples.There’s enough food in that seed to keep it alive. If I put a seed in cotton wool in a bit of water, it would start sprouting and growing for about eight days. Then it runs out of fuel, and it has to start drawing from the soil.You plant one apple seed in the ground, and it turns into a sapling. Then, when it’s a little bigger you plant it in some half-decent soil, in a little spot in the garden. Before you know it, you’ll be 10 years older, and you’ll have 100 of these babies, but you’ve never really given it much care. Anything that grows on a tree is pretty low-maintenance.This is really clever stuff going on here.

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