It’s that time of year when the weather is trying to be spring-like (where I live anyway) even though it’s more than a month past the “official” spring equinox.  I can’t wait to get outside and start digging in the dirt.

Most of my family lives in British Columbia and conversations with them always include the spring flowers that are blooming and having to mow the lawn again. My lawn is still under a foot of snow (and if it isn’t right now, it may well be by tomorrow).

No self respecting Calgary gardener even sets foot in a garden centre until the May long weekend at least, and then you have to be quick on your feet lest you get trampled to death going for the last flat of petunias.  I still have to be patient.

Organic Food Gardening – The New Trend

Recently, interest in organic food gardening has exploded to become one of today’s hot new activities.  Growing our own food is a healthy trend that is being embraced by many city dwellers – young and old.  Backyards, balconies, patios and even rooftops are becoming mini farms.

A growing sense of independence, lack of trust in international food production and a desire to have pesticide-free food are why we have decided to return to natural goodness and flavour.  When we grow our own food we know exactly what we’re eating and can count on its freshness.  Growing your own edibles means you’ll be pushing a lighter shopping cart too.

With smaller living and growing spaces available, organic food gardening can now be done entirely in containers.  This has triggered the development of new varieties that are not only very productive and flavourful, but are also easy to grow in a confined growing space and a shorter growing season.

Easy and Fun to Grow

It doesn’t take much effort to grow a tomato plant on the patio or herbs on a sunny windowsill.  Growing your own lettuce blends in a shady spot sure beats buying the slimy product in plastic containers from the supermarket.

It’s also fun to try novelty vegetables such as yellow and purple cauliflower, yellow tomatoes and hot peppers, and purple carrots.

People have been paying serious attention to their health and one behavioral change has been eating locally grown fruits and vegetables.   If you can’t – or don’t want to – grow your own you can get them from farmers’ markets and community gardens which are springing up everywhere.  Some of the hottest restaurants are selecting more local ingredients from nearby farms for their fresh flavour.

If you’re like me and like to get “down and dirty “ in the garden, give organic food gardening a try.  You won’t believe the difference in taste, even in herbs.  In fact my husband always disliked the taste of rosemary (in its dried form) until I grew my own to cook with.

Or at least try to buy locally.  It’s good for the environment and local producers and your taste buds will thank you.

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8 Comments

  1. 101 Centavos on May 3, 2011 at 4:39 am

    No doubt, all of the above and more. What are you growing this season?

    • Boomer on May 3, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      @101 Centavos: I have to remove a tree that has roots very close to the surface so I will be growing in containers this year. I will grow about 10 different kinds of herbs, tomatoes of course, and salad greens and radishes.

  2. The Investment Blogger on May 3, 2011 at 11:22 am

    As a kid my parents and neighbors had vegetable and fruit gardens, so we always had natural and ripe fruits & vegetables. Not only were they safe, but the taste difference between what you buy in the store is huge. We are moving into a house this year and out of the condo, and can’t wait to get back into vegetable gardening. We’ve also been buying organic groceries and are very careful about what we put in our body. Some unfortunate experiences have led us to go all organic with everything. I think people really need to pay more attention to what they eat and less on consumerism stuff (junk) they buy. Vegetable gardening helps keep the cost of such a choice down as well. Great Post!!

  3. Boomer on May 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    @The Investment Blogger: My parents had a huge vegetable garden when I was growing up and, it’s funny now, but I hated working in it from putting in the seeds to harvesting every day. You’re right though, the flavour of fresh produce is superior to anything that you buy in the store and you hear all the time about e-coli, salmonella and other contaminants in the imported stuff.

  4. Echo on May 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I’m tempted to start a small vegetable garden when we get into our new house. The produce at the supermarket this year has just been awful, even in the organic section it just looks wilted and pathetic.

  5. Kristina on May 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    We signed up for a CSA, http://www.csaalberta.com/
    fresh, organic fruits and veggies, weekly 🙂

    It helps that we aren’t picky, and I LOVE the challenge of putting together a meal with what happens to be in our basket that week.

    We’ve also already started our spinach, and parsnips in our backyard garden (in calgary…) Kale, Swiss Chard & Radishes will be next. Lots of things can survive a frost, and a snow (some snow more then frost)

    • 101 Centavos on June 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      I’ve become a HUGE fan of kale and swiss chard this year. Easy to grow, nutritious and delicious!

  6. Witty Artist on June 2, 2011 at 1:27 am

    I love home-grown vegetables and herbs. For sure our taste buds feel the difference between a mall-tomato and a garden cultured one. How are things in your garden now?:) Have you had any crops?

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