We all have to eat. Some people, however, believe that the production of food is unsightly, and should take place far away.
Perhaps this is part of why food in America travels an average of 1,500 miles from where it is produced to where it is eaten. It is also why a woman in Michigan was threatened with jail time for growing vegetables in her yard.
While centralized food production does allow for economies of scale, transportation is expensive, and fruits and vegetables lose a lot of their flavor and nutrition during the journey. By growing edible plants at home, we can enjoy better-quality food while paying less than we would at the supermarket.
Growing food at home also gives us an opportunity to limit how much pesticide is on our produce, to enjoy the health benefits associated with gardening, and to teach children about healthy eating.
It’s also popular in Madison – many people have fruit trees or vegetable gardens in their yards, or are raising chickens as a source of eggs. Those who’d like to help provide local food for others can apply to plant an Edible Landscape on city-owned land. And those who don’t have a yard of their own can obtain a community garden plot, though currently all 61 of Madison’s community gardens have waiting lists!
The next few posts on That Blog will look at different strategies for producing food in our own yards.