Recently, I reflected upon how edible gardening’s many benefits extend well beyond mind/body health, and a sense of pleasure, efficacy, and empowerment, to directly impact the larger food system as well.
Over the past five years, I’ve intentionally created a life that centers the mindful, socially conscious growing of food. In doing so, I realized how much I’m also financially supporting a wide range of organizations and industries that share my green passions. Here’s just the ones I came up with:
Slowly, I’ve been operationalizing and tracking production through Lavender Belle Farm, my micro-level operation, which I began several years ago when we were still working our 2.5 acre property. Even though I don’t have access to land this year as a result of our move, I’m attempting to grow as much as I can on my rooftop to supply my family with food, donate to the local food bank, and provide materials for future therapeutic horticulture classes through The SAVOR Project.
By my rough estimate, during each of the past two years, I’ve grown thousands of dollars per year in fresh farm produce and eggs, and donated hundreds of dollars in produce, prepared meals, and fundraisers, to food justice-related organizations. I’m proud of our humble little operation, although this yield is nothing compared to real working farms whose communities rely upon them to supply food while working a dawn-to-dusk (or beyond) work week.
However, the benefits of spending hours every week outside, under an open sky, working in the dirt, growing and learning as a home gardener?
Bountiful, and priceless.
So if you’re one of the many who have decided to take up edible gardening or have purchased a houseplant this pandemic year, know that you are truly taking in the good while your consumer dollars also support the larger food-related community – and a greener, healthier world.