May 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
Recently I began working for Home Harvest Kitchen Gardens. They specialize in building raised bed gardens for the urban dweller. This is not all that we do but that’s my focus for this post.
So you may be wondering: why a raised bed garden? whats a kitchen garden? why should I grow my own food? Or maybe you already know all the answers! But I’ll respond to my own questions regardless.
Why a RAISED BED garden?
If you are new to growing your own food, you may believe that you have a “black thumb”. I know I fell in to that category a few years ago. The most fundamental thing to remember is: high quality soil = high quality harvest. Everyone knows the saying “you are what you eat”, well your plants are no different. Just like people, plants need a wide range of nutrients in their diet to be healthy and happy. Happy plants are stronger, more nutrient dense, and more resistant to pests. Getting your soil “cooking” takes some time, but it’s well worth the effort.
So to answer the question more directly- A raised bed is used in situations where the existing soil is nutrient depleted. It is essentially a box full of plant food! The plants don’t eat the soil, they just suck up the nutrients within it. That’s why it’s important to start off with a nutrient dense composted mix from organic sources.
What is a KITCHEN GARDEN?
This one is pretty simple. It’s a garden that you will build in close proximity to your kitchen. It will supply your family with herbs, leafy greens, fruiting plants, whatever you like to eat on a regular basis. Step out the door, pick some salad greens, a few tomatoes, some basil etc.. Then use all of your fresh picked organic goodness for the family dinner.
Why should you GROW YOUR OWN FOOD?
When you buy food from the supermarket you have no idea where it was grown, what the quality will be like, and most importantly what chemicals may have been involved during the process. Buying organic produce eliminates some of these mysteries but you still can’t ensure the produce is as fresh and as nutritious as your own home grown crops. You are also restricted to a very small number of varieties when buying from a supermarket. The farmers will only grow products that have the longest shelf life. They are interested in profits, not flavour. A lot of the produce will come from genetically modified plants, heavily sprayed with insecticides and herbicides. Also, if you buy something like apples, pears, or many other fruits, they are forced to pick them way before the fruit is actually ripe. A lot of the fruit in supermarkets will never ripen because of this. This leads to bland nasty tasting fruit and digestion issues. If you’ve ever bitten in to a rock hard pear, you’ll know what I mean. Once you start growing your own food you’ll be amazed at the flavours you have been missing in most fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens.
Here is a 12ft x 4ft Raised Bed, installed in Halifax, Nova Scotia by Home Harvest.
It’s so easy to start growing your own food! You don’t need anything fancy just start experimenting in small pots and expand from there. Happy growing!