Sunday, November 4, 2007

My Garden, the Plastic I Found in it, and Why Gardening is Good for the Environment

Yesterday I put my garden to sleep for the winter. I pulled up new weeds, raked up any additional leaves and dead plants, and then turned the soil. To my surprise, I also found several bits of old plastic (pictured at right) lurking in the soil of my beautiful garden plot.

It made me sad to find all of this plastic stuff in my garden because it once again reinforced the idea that it's impossible to escape plastic. It's everywhere and unavoidable.

Still, I was happy this weekend because I spent a lot of time thinking about the benefits of gardening, as well as about about my experiences this year growing my first garden ever.

Why Gardening is Good for the Environment
Gardening is good for the environment because it provides:
  • locally grown fruits and vegetables that are not being shipped from thousands of miles away and are not polluting the Earth on their way to your plate
  • food that is not being sprayed with harmful pesticides
  • produce that is hopefully grown responsibly and organically
  • plastic free fruits and veggies that are not shipped or stored in plastic containers at any time
My Gardening Experience
I feel very fortunate that I live in a two flat and have landlords with an extra garden plot that they let me use. Excluding a few hiccups due to extremely heavy rains, my garden was very good to me this year and allowed me to eat many wonderful basil and tomato salads and stir frys made with awesome fresh vegetables that were not only kinder to the environment, but also more nutritious because they were fresh.

I grew a variety of herbs and vegetables including tomatoes, green peppers, jalapeƱo peppers, green beans (bush variety), basil, sage, parsley, and rosemary. All of these plans are easy to grow in the Midwest and can be grown on a balcony in large pots.

Next Spring
I already can't wait to plant my garden next spring. I've learned a lot this year, and have also had the chance to think more about maximizing the space I have and producing even more wonderful food. And now that my garden is ready for the spring, all that I have to do now is plant my garlic and wait for warmer weather.

Resources

To learn more about gardening before spring comes around, visit Gardenweb. The site provides tons of info on how to grow a garden and connects you with tons of people that are incredibly knowledgeable about a variety of gardening topics.

1 comment:

Green Bean said...

This post cracks me up. Why? Because I was thinking of writing the same thing yesterday when I was planting my blueberry bushes and encountered some plastic toys buried in our dirt. We've lived here for 3 years now and have almost replanted everything. Whenever we dig, we find more and more plastic toys - all in pristine (well dirty but once cleaned) condition. Gives you a hint how long this stuff will last once we're gone.