If I were to ask how much money you spend on produce in a week, what would you say? I think a very popular answer would be, too much. What if I told you there is a way to reduce the amount of grocery money coming out of your pocket?
Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about an amazing activity everyone has already heard of: Gardening! In its simplest form gardening is the growing and cultivating of plants, flowers, or herbs and can be done virtually anywhere by anyone.
All you need is a windowsill, a container, a seed or root, and a little patience. As a hardcore carnivore turned vegan health nut, I went from eating absolutely everything to only fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Additionally, I have only been buying organic and local foods which, as you can imagine, is costing me a pretty penny. While I know without a doubt that my well-being is worth the extra money, I hate that my healthy lifestyle takes so much from my healthy wallet. My solution? Starting my own garden! I will grow the produce that I eat most and buy the rest from local farmers markets.
Besides for saving money, growing a portion of your own produce let’s you know exactly where and how your food is grown. Awareness about chemical additives, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and genetically engineered foods (GE) has been steadily building and it is very disturbing to think about all the harmful things being done to our food and the effects they have on our health. You can minimize this by just growing your own. Another plus is that it reduces global warming the amount of carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere because that is what plants feed off of. Lastly, home gardens are great ways to build and/or strengthen bonds with family and friends, especially children.
The great thing about gardening is you can go as big or as little as you want. I am preparing to turn my backyard into the Garden of Eden, but there are plenty of people who only have a couple flowerpots and that’s dope too. There’s no standard for how big, how small, or what is in a garden.
There are many more advantages of growing your own food, whether it be fruits, vegetables or herbs and spices. I encourage you to do more of your own research about home gardening and how you can get your own started. Here in Tampa, a great resource and place to grab supplies is Worm’s Way Florida. They are a local indoor and outdoor garden supply store, where you can get everything you need for your new venture as well as get some great advice! It is important that we (re)learn self-sufficiency within our own spaces, especially Black ones. When you uplift yourself and make positive changes it shows and inspires others to do the same. So take the initiative, build up your pockets, health, and community!
Check out Worm’s Way Florida on Facebook.
Tarah is a pro-Black vegan activist with an uncontrollable desire to travel and be immersed in other cultures. Her passions and professional experience lie in the realms of youth development, education, community organizing, sustainability, and leadership. Some of her favorite activities are creating various forms of art, watching political and historical lectures, experimental cooking, and thrifting. She is easily spotted in a crowd by her big natural hair and can often be found with her head in a book or in the clouds. Follow her WordPress, afro-REBELista.