• Simcoe-Grey Greens

Week 6: Get Your Hands Dirty

by Sherri Jackson & Laurel Hood, 52 Weeks of Climate Action.

Transportation is a big part of the carbon footprint of the food you eat. As our weather improves, we’re able to grow an awful lot of food here right in our own backyard, and now is the time to plant, if you haven’t already.

Agriculture is also a big source of carbon in our atmosphere. The less we rely on imported food, and the more self-sufficient we are, the more we can reduce the footprint of our agricultural industries. The closer to home you can get your food, the lower the carbon footprint of that food. And it doesn’t get any closer than your own yard, or balcony, or sunny window.

Growing food is surprisingly simple - almost foolproof really. With a little soil, sunshine, water and seeds, you get a bountiful harvest. Not only will you get the satisfaction of tasty, chemical-free, fresh, nutrient-rich food, you’ll save money, and reduce your carbon footprint. You also know exactly where your food came from, and in these times, that peace of mind can be very satisfying.

Challenge 6: Plant something you can eat.

Even if you live in an apartment, you can grow food. A good sized pot will yield tons of produce: tomatoes, strawberries, greens, herbs, even peppers will thrive in a sunny window. You’ll be surprised how many tomatoes one plant can produce!

If you’re lucky enough to have more space, branch into the outdoors. This year, I planted six raised beds, then got a little carried away and planted another patch of raspberries, strawberries, corn, and squash that need more space. Raised beds will apparently yield up to six times more than a traditional garden plot. Time will tell!

If you’re new to this, here’s a resource from Footprint.org to help you get started. Don't be too hard on yourself. This isn't supposed to be super serious - if something fails, chalk it up to experience. But, vegetables like greens, carrots, tomatoes, peas, beans and squash are abundant and easy for everyone to grow.

Let us know how you’re doing. Send in your pictures and help us grow our garden gallery. Enjoy getting out in the sun, digging in the dirt and connecting with nature. That first bite of a sun-warmed tomato fresh off the vine will be worth the effort.

52 Weeks of Climate Action was created by Sherri Jackson and Laurel Hood. Sherri is a writer, speaker and musician. She is the candidate of record and communications coordinator for the Simcoe-Grey Greens. Laurel Hood, is a retired secondary teacher, transportation lead for the Collingwood Climate Action Team, and volunteer coordinator for the Simcoe-Grey Greens. Visit our blog or sign up at www.52weeksofclimateaction.com.

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