Two years ago I blogged about my urban garden in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. Each day I’d ride there on my bike, putter around, and enjoy the simple pleasure of the peace and quiet of my garden haven. Teaching my young urban friends about fitness and nutrition and sharing my harvest with my personal training clients made the garden even more rewarding.
Now that I live in Santa Barbara, California, farmers market produce is abundant. The idea of being a ‘locavore,’ eating food from your own community, is shared by many in this environmentally conscious city. But I still want the feeling of being involved in the production of the food I eat. Two months ago I built garden boxes in my own backyard. My careful preparation of the soil – I use the lasagna gardening method of layering compost, soil, and other organic material – has resulted in a promising crop of organic vegetables.
Growing our own food provides great nutrition, saves money, and is therapeutic. But I would suggest that growing our own food, whether it’s a tomato plant in a pot on the 20th floor of a high rise apartment building in New York City, the salad greens in the four little garden boxes I’ve built in Santa Barbara, or the many fenced urban gardens of Washington, D.C. should become part of our environmental consciousness. The transportation of produce around the country not only requires too much fuel and wasteful packaging, but separates us from the very earth we sprung from. Humans need to be grounded, to feel dirt under our nails, and most of all, to be connected to the food we eat.
Enough of my banter – time to go harvest my local Santa Barbara produce!