Imagine picking a red, ripe, juicy tomato off its vine, pulling up fresh carrots, and plucking tender sweet peas and corn for dinner tonight. And it's all as close as your back door.
There’s just something joyful and fulfilling about a backyard or “kitchen” garden, which is why millions of families are joining a new revolution and growing their own vegetables.
Roger Doiron, founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, a global online community of people growing their own food and building relationships in the process, said the idea of the kitchen garden is turning the western diet, heavy on convenience food and fast food, on its head.
“A kitchen garden doesn’t have to be right outside the kitchen door, but the closer it is, the better. Think about it this way: The easier it is for you to get into the garden, the more likely it is that you will get tasty things out of it,” Doiron said.
“And what could be more convenient and fast than having your pick of over 40 nutritious foods straight from your own garden?”
Homegrown vegetables are healthier than store-bought, Doiron said, because the commercially grown foods we’re eating today are significantly less nutritious than just 30 years ago.
“Breeding crops for higher yields has delivered cheaper food, but it has also diluted nutrients,” he said.
Furthermore, most kitchen gardeners don’t expose their vegetables to toxins, so it is safer, fresher, and tastes better.
Doiron said anyone can grow their own food regardless of where they live. If space seems like an issue, think about container gardens and rooftop gardens, or maybe you'd like to create a window or planter box garden.
“I’m convinced when people look around they will discover they have enough resources to get started,” Doiron said.
He recommends new gardeners start small — tuck a few successes under their belt in year one, and scale up little by little.
“Even in year one, you may be able to meet a big chunk of your family’s produce needs,” he said.
“Kitchen gardens and gardeners thrive because of positive feedback loops.