The Case for Gardens
If we looked at our lawns like we look at any other investment, we would quickly see lawns don’t offer much in the way of a return. And yet, so many of us invest so much into their care. We invest financial resources in the form of water, seed, fertilizer and equipment. Plus we spend so many mornings that turn into afternoons toiling away for them. Or we spend even more money to pay someone to care for them for us. But what is the return? What are you getting back in exchange for all those dollars and all those afternoons working in the heat?
For most, it’s minimal. Maybe you get the envy of your neighbors, and occasionally you and your pets or family may spend a few hours enjoying it. But is that really enough of a return on your investment? For some the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” But for many, I would venture to say the answer is a resounding, “No! But I never really thought about it before.” If you’re one of those people, consider the possibility of creating a vegetable garden where your lawn currently grows.
In the US there are currently 40 million acres of land in grass. Think about how much food could be grown in that space! For some perspective, the US has approximately 90 million acres in corn (our top crop). Everyday the US loses over 3000 acres of farmland due to development, yet our population is growing exponentially. In the last 20 years alone, the US has lost over 8% of its farmland to suburban sprawl. So how will we feed ourselves and our communities real food as our farmland dwindles? If you have a yard, the answer could be right outside your window. Here are just a few of the potential benefits.
1.Vegetable gardens have the potential to save you money on your grocery bill.
2.Your food will be the freshest it can possibly be.
3. You will know where your food came from and the practices used to grow it.
4. In exchange for your investment (time, fertilizer, seeds, water, equipment, etc) you will receive delicious produce.
5. You will be an active participant in your local food system.
6. Your garden will create a more diverse ecosystem that will help provide space for beneficial insects and birds.
7. You will reduce your reliance on fossil fuels in two different ways. First, your need to run a gas-powered mower will be reduced. Second, much of your produce will no longer have to travel upwards of 1000 miles to get to you.
As you can see, the benefits of tending a garden far outweigh the benefits of tending a lawn. Ready to get started? For tips on how to get your garden going, follow our blog.