August 18, 2008

A case for urban gardening

Ever wondered where how far your food traveled to get to your plate ? Ever wondered how did the food survive all that distance without getting spoiled ? Every wondered what chemicals were sprayed on your food so that it would grow to be blemish less and what percentage of the chemicals remained after a thorough scrub ? Ever wondered how much forest are we going to be left with after we make room for all the agricultural land we need ? All these questions would take reams and reams to talk about individually but as you can guess I am taking them all together to make a case for urban gardening , growing food at your doorstep .
Growing food close to where you live cuts down on all the food miles , cuts down on all the energy required to transport food from the other end of the globe , does away the need of having varieties that are chosen more for longer shelf life than for taste and food value . Growing your food ensures food that is fresh , untainted by chemicals and best of all chosen for taste and food value .
Urban areas have abundant land lying vacant between buildings , non-productive unecological lawns , balconies , terraces , paved areas of no consequence etc . All of these areas can be utilized for growing vegetables and fruit. Lawns and paved areas are an anathema to urban areas . Whilst the former are resource intensive and unproductive and serve no purpose other than giving you woes over the grass being greener over the fence no matter what you do , the latter creates surface runoff preventing water seeping down and urban heat island effect . So rip of the grass and the paving and plant vegetables and fruit . Make a compost , reduce the amount of organic waste you create and give it back to the land . They are doing the same in Royal Parks in UK if this article is to be believed .

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