Happy Ground Hog Day! This morning Phil saw his shadow and winter will continue on for some weeks… but not in Florida. Here in sunny Florida we will have a high of 81- perfect for gardening! According to IFAS and the Farmers Almanac it’s time to get our zero waste gardening started.
Gardening is an amazing thing that families can do together to help reduce waste. First, by composting our food scraps we reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. According to the EPA there are many benefits of composting: soil enrichment, less need for chemical fertilizers, encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi, and reduces methane emissions from landfills (EPA, 2022). In addition, when we grow our own food, we reduce the amount of commercially grown food we need to purchase. It’s estimated that a tomato travels on average 1,369 miles from farm to plate, a squash travels 781, and greens 889 miles (Cuesa.org, 2022). It is crazy to think that the average meal travels over 1,500 miles before we are able to consume it.
A simple and fun thing families can do is to grow food at home. Our family lives in a community that doesn’t allow gardening so we have had to figure out alternatives. What we now do is grow as much food as we can in a hydroponic Tower Garden and Aerogarden as well as grow microgreens. All of these are a ton of fun to do with kids and keep fresh, local food on our plate.
For tips on when and what to plant in your Florida garden check out: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/ep450#SECTION_2
Farmers Almanac: https://www.farmersalmanac.com/calendar/gardening
You can follow our podcast here: https://embracelesswasteusa.com/podcast-zero-waste-imperfectly/
On Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/embracelesswasteusa/
“Composting at Home.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home.
“How Far Does Your Food Travel to Get to Your Plate?” CUESA, 5 Feb. 2018, https://cuesa.org/learn/how-far-does-your-food-travel-get-your-plate.