Editorial: Urban farming

At the moment, local food producers are experiencing the great ripening.

With all of the rain, crops are popping up and bushes are bearing fruit. It’s a wonderful time of year to shop for fresh produce, or be out working in your own garden to begin harvesting those ready-to-eat plants and herbs.

A great shift is also going on, beneath the obvious surface. More and more people are investing their time into urban and rural farming. I picked a full container of fresh raspberries from my friend’s house while house sitting this week. Each day, someone came by to water their gardens. Growing in their back yard they have tomatoes, strawberries, beans, carrots, and more. The apple tree in their back yard is producing this year, and I’m sure they will make more cider.

For people who lived in the city and transplanted themselves to Golden, they were able to educate themselves well on what would and would not work. Their compost has the largest of the tomato plants growing right out the side of it.

This week, I felt really appreciative of all of the local growers we have in and around Golden. People are working their soil and producing an abundance of edibles.

Each week at the farmer’s market, customers line up before noon to get the first pick at the local produce. In the grocery stores, some people are disappointed when they can’t find Canadian vegetables (of course, this can change in the winter time when our climate doesn’t readily have those options). Some people are even choosing to only consume seasonally-available produce.

This shift in mentality is exactly what we need as a society. Learning to grow your own garden has many benefits beyond getting out to catch some sun. Knowing where your food comes from has a huge mental benefit.

The easiest way to know where your food is coming from is to grow it yourself, or buy locally. Unfortunately, if you live in an apartment building, you probably don’t have the space available to plant a garden (like me). But, if you can find someone with space to share, it’s a great way to make new friends or bond with those you already have.

If there was a community garden, I’d be very interested in participating to maintain it, and share spaces with others. I am sure there are many people in town who would feel the same.

Try to get out to a farmer’s market if you don’t grow your own food. You might be surprised at how flavourful local produce can be.

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