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Living in an urban setting can definitely hinder us from being able to find the freshest produce at a low cost. Sure, there are plenty of mega health food stores that offer the healthier options but sometimes, for some, the cost-to-benefit doesn’t always justify making that choice.
This summer, I recently took up the practice of hydroponic gardening by setting up my own Grow Up unit on my balcony in Brooklyn, New York. When you think of Brooklyn, a lush garden with actual growing vegetables sitting on someone’s balcony is not what pops into your mind.
But I’m here to tell you, I was able to do just that. All summer, we were gifted with luscious tomatoes, sweet peppers and super fresh basil. I think the biggest reward of all was watching all my roommates get involved with the gardening process as well. Whenever i would leave town, I would come back to see the garden running perfectly with something new growing on the vines. I showed them, while setting up the unit, how to refill the reservoir with water, add the right amount of nutrients and to make sure the plants are receiving optimum sunlight. Everyone participated and Voila! We now have a perfect garden growing right in the middle of this concrete city! Just goes to show you, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.
Now, how do we apply this simple concept to progress our future? It is imperative that proper food growing practices are taught to children and other individuals in some way. In my opinion, I believe that part of the difficulty in making good dietary choices stems from the lack of knowledge throughout the masses.Education is key. As a community, if we focused on educating others about the benefits of growing our own food then you will notice the number of people buying inorganic food and GMO filled produce will start to decrease. More people will look for healthier alternatives and possibly turn to local farms and even consider growing their produce right in their balcony. How great would it be to see this as a social norm?
I’ve experienced the joy that comes from the success of being able to grow your own produce and enjoy the “fruits of my labor”. It gave not only me, but my peers something to be proud of. You can start getting involved by learning all you can about hydroponic gardening by visiting our website www.growuphydrogarden.com. Then take it to the next level by buying your own unit, maybe even gifting one to a fellow gardener and together you can share tips, ideas and produce to make it more fun. These practices will also teach our future generations to be more self-reliant, patient, caring about their surroundings and find solutions as to how they can save the planet, one garden at a time. It’s not going to happen overnight, but what if, as a community, we focus on becoming a great example? Maybe, just maybe we can make a difference. I’m willing to try. Are you?