It’s been warm some days here in the Midwest, turning many people’s thoughts to spring gardening.Â Â Â Gardening in the city is a big deal these days.Â There are many federally fundedÂ programs for bringing gardening to schools and nursing homes.Â Â People living inÂ rural areas have known and received the benefits of sustainable gardening for centuries.
Even though gardening can be a big business, you can also reduce, reuse and recycle in many ways, no matter the size of your garden.
Here are 4Â ways to garden sustainably.
1. Every one who reads this blog is familiar with compost heaps and rain barrels, I’m sure.Â If you’ve been gardening for several years (or decades), you probably have all the equipment and supplies you need.Â For those of you who don’t, there are ways to supply your self while keeping it green.
2. Stores that sell plants already haveÂ some out here.Â Â They come in flats, which are routinely discarded when the plants are sold individually.Â Â Get to know your produce and plant providers, whether they are neighbors, farmers or store workers.Â A friendly one can re-route those flats from the trash to you.Â These are perfect forÂ starting seeds.
3. If you have farm animals you can also often get access to produce that they are unable to sell.Â the best stores trim their produce daily.Â The trimmings would be wonderful for your rabbit.Â There may also be expired products that cannot be sold, but are still usable.Â Â My husband gives milk that has reached its ‘sell by date’ to a man who feeds it to his animals.
4. You can also get sustainable items from Eco Etsy team members.Â Â Maryzoom has organic worm compost tea.Â Just in case you don’t have a compost bin to make your own.Â Â Â Gabrielle’s Garden has organic seeds.Â Garden Bonbons has party favors made from seed balls as well as boxes of seed ‘candy’.Â I received some of these for Christmas and can’t wait to try them. Lilfooley has beautiful garden markersÂ upcycled from old silverware.Â And, of course, Dinnertimechimes can provide the music for your gardening pleasure.
From a tomato plantÂ and a few pots of herbs on a balcony or in a sunny window, toÂ feed the family, preserve the bounty for winter or even sell at the farmer’s market you can improve the quality of the food you put in your body.
What are you planting this spring?