Spring has definitely sprung in San Diego, and Spring break is finally giving me the opportunity to enjoy the sunny days and cool breezes. The last posting described aquaponics as a local, organic food solution. As I mentioned previously—I would love to have one of these systems, but it’s not really feasible for me now because I’m limited in both time and money. So, I’ve thought up an alternative—a kitchen garden.
I spent the first five years of my life on a farm in rural Appalachia and some of my best memories were of running around barefoot and eating sun-warmed tomatoes fresh off the vine. Where I grew up, everyone had a little kitchen garden—even if only a couple of bean stalks, a tomato plant, and some herbs.
My kitchen garden is also starting small. Because our apartment doesn’t have a yard, I used containers to plant my garden. I chose tomatoes and lettuce, vegetables I am familiar with growing and that we commonly purchase. I also planted some mint and basil, two herbs I use a lot for cooking, but are expensive to buy at the store. On average, a single tomato plant yields about 35 lbs, while the lettuce plants will yield about six pounds. If all goes well, these veggies should certainly put a dent into our grocery bill.
I’m wondering if kitchen gardens, like the victory gardens of WWII, are becoming more common as people grapple with the cost of feeding their families during the current economic downturn. Aside from the obvious economic and health benefits, home gardening is great for the environment. Kitchen gardens reduce the number of miles food travels and the number of trips to the grocery store.