There comes a time in every young person’s life when s/he must grow up and take on a little more responsibility. “Oh, damn, I over-drafted again…better go to Coinstar,” or, “My parents are visiting my new apartment, guess I should clean for the first time this year” just doesn’t cut it like it used to.
As vegans (and environmentalists?) we might have a little more to balance when it comes to tackling the grocery list or finding out how to spring clean the eco-friendly way. Still, re-routing our habits to fall more in line with our beliefs might involve some definitive adventures into new ways of thinking about productivity. For example, if you’ve recently discovered you would rather grow your own food instead of fighting masses of soccer moms over organic carrots, finding time in your day to tend to an at-home garden is a must.
I recently moved into a new place, which is also the location of a nice 20′ x 30′ garden! So along with the normal tasks of unpacking, changing the mailing address, and painting, I’ve got a garden to figure out. Readily accessible vegan meals are literally at my fingertips. But…wait, I have to, like, do something to get freshly grown produce, right? Psssh. My days already consist of scrambling from project to project, and now, I have a garden to tend to? The landlord suggested we could get rid of the thing, but that just didn’t sit well with me. So, copies of The Urban Homestead were ordered and gardening gloves were purchased. Let’s do this.
Embarking on MY new vegan adventure, I have found that there are tons of resources available on the web for would-be gardeners to make the task of growing your own vegan food more manageable, whether just tending to potted herbs in a windowsill, or taking on a fully-grown (someday) buffet of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Here are some starting points that I have found helpful, and you may too:
- When low on space and/or resources, the blog Urban Gardens suggests creating a micro organic garden out of a tiered cedar structure.
- If you’re reinventing an overgrown garden to start fresh, such as the garden I recently acquired that hadn’t been tended to in months, first turn everything under. Then, cover the space with fresh new soil layered on top of cardboard strips in order to have a level workspace. You can take advantage of a soaker hose irrigation system to speed up the process. And you’re ready to plant!
- (As an aside, restaurants can join in the gardening process, even when the locale is within a tall cityscape building. Just think vertically, and lower the produce down from the roof!)
- Another great aspect about creating your own produce garden is the community aspect. Community gardens are great ways to share the good feelings of growing your own food, and then you can celebrate a hard day’s work by cooking a vegan meal from what you’ve picked that day. It may surprise you how many people are willing to help out in your garden, especially if your community doesn’t have a shared gardening space to take advantage of. That could be the next gardening adventure!
- Urban Organic Gardener, Care2, and Organic Gardening are just a few of hundreds of green, organic and gardening blogs to choose from to jump start your green thumb.
- Make sure to check your state’s list of seasonal produce to ensure you’re planting the right thing at the right time.
- Enlist the help of a local master gardener by scanning classes at community centers or public libraries, often hosted by the city’s recycling center or local green organization.
- You might think this is a strange time of year to run a blog about gardening – but don’t forget about winter gardening - and if where you live is too cold for anything of that sort, it’s a good time to start thinking about preparing the beds for next year.