140 Middletown – Lincroft Road, Lincroft, New Jersey 07738 Hours: Monday-Tuesday 8-5, Wednesday 8-6, Thursday-Saturday 8-5, Sunday 9-4

                                                                  

Why I Garden: To Grow Fresh, Healthy Food

The cost of fresh fruits and vegetables from the grocery store isn't cheap. Most places offer produce at a much higher price than those food items that are sold in a can or a bag. And that isn't even the worst part about getting food this way. The produce that is shipped in isn't even ripe. It's picked way ahead of time, so it won't rot while it's in transit to the store. Since this makes it look unappealing, chemicals are sprayed all over it to force it to have color. That is besides all of the other pesticide and herbicide residue that it is still coated in from being in the farmer's fields. And let's not even talk about the new genetically modified produce that is being disguised as a healthy alternative to organically grown items. So of course, the most sensible thing that a person can do is to start growing their own food.

What Happened to Gardens?

For years, keeping a garden was the only way that a family could ensure that they had enough to eat. It has only been in recent times that people started buying everything from a store instead of growing it themselves and this change has caused a rapid increase in the health problems that Americans have. Instead of eating wholesome foods, they have a diet that consists of sugar and preservatives. But a group of people called “preppers” have started to bring fruit and vegetable gardening back in style. Much of their methods are based on scare tactics about doomsday prophecies, so they don't always get taken too seriously though. However, their encouragement of returning to a lifestyle of sustainability is admirable.

What About the Extra Produce?

The best thing about growing your own fresh fruits and vegetables is that you can choose to focus only on those that your family uses the most of. The leftovers can all be preserved for lean times when the budget starts getting a little tight from extra expenses. A pantry full of neatly lined up jars of canned foods was once the pride and joy of every family because it was symbolic of their prosperity. It was common for several months worth of food to be put back. Dried items like beans and peas were also kept. But since large freezers were not readily available, cold storage methods were not generally used.

How Can a Gardener Find More Space?

Families with very little growing space often scoff at the suggestion that they may be able to keep a small garden. But it's possible for anyone if they are creative. The trick is to make use of the space that is available, so it is maximized to its fullest potential. Perhaps, planters get hung on the wall instead of sitting on the floor, or shelves can be built along railings wherever the sun shines brightly.

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