gardening in brooklyn

The Pandemic Reinforced the Importance of Food Sustainability

Once word got around about the effects of COVID-19, strengthening my immune system became my main concern. I continuously stocked up on fruits and veggies and took my supplements. Thankfully, my local grocery stores always had the items I needed to keep me healthy. Because of this experience, and the thought of being affected by a broken food supply chain, I truly see how important it is to have access to locally grown and sourced goods. I see how fragile our system is, how easy it is for someone to go without the essentials that nature provided to us on this earth.

Buying local always sounds good in theory and we know we should do it, but when you have to think about getting access to your food in times of crisis ⁠—local and organic seems like even more of a privilege. And it shouldn’t be! Have you thought about how great it would be to venture to your backyard or your neighbor’s yard to gather some of your produce?

What if we focused more on using the land that we had to grow food? And imagine if we did this as a collective! Thankfully, that’s the benefit of having access to farmer’s markets, but what if we had the farmer’s markets in addition to what us and our neighbors were growing in our immediate community? All we need are the seeds. Unfortunately, only a few large corporations own most of the world’s supply of seeds. I find that pretty suspicious and discouraging . Ideally, we’d have more heirloom seeds (seeds which have been passed down from generation to generation) so we can continue to grow a great array of foods!

Fun facts about growing your own food:

  • Easy access to fresh food
  • Lack of chemical pesticides! You determine how to fight pests and do damage control.
  • You save money (and potentially plastic) on grocery trips.
  • You’ll start to appreciate the seasonality of foods, as you’ll be gathering your produce at their ideal harvesting times.
  • It’s a great way to introduce variety into your diet. Maybe you and a friend can grow a range of food and share it with one another.
  • Also, it’s a great hobby that could help improve the way you think about food.

Some people find gardening to be a peaceful activity like meditation. You may find that working with the soil and tending to your plants is extremely therapeutic. And it seems like now is probably a good time to get started.

Images captured by me at The Old Stone House in Park Slope, Brooklyn

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