- Growing your own food reduces the distance your food travels from the farm to you (10 feet, say, versus 250-2,500 miles). That means you’re eliminating the petroleum products used in farming equipment, fertilizers, pesticides, packaging, storage, and transportation.
- By reducing the distance your food travels from the farm to you, you also reduce your overall carbon output, taking a bite out of your impact on climate change.
- When you grow your own food, you also know where your food is coming from (no weird salmonella strains in your tomatoes and spinach, for instance).
- You can grow food all year long – so in the winter when most farmer’s markets close up shop, you’ll still have fresh, tasty produce.
- Home grown food tastes many times better and has more vitamins and minerals than vegetables raised in a monocultural setting.
- There’s more variety available – you can grow various heirloom crops that you just can’t buy in a grocery store.
- You can choose to grow crops that aren’t genetically modified, which helps preserve seed diversity.
- You can save seed and create different varieties that are best suited for your little backyard microclimate.
- Knowing how to grow your own food makes you much more adaptable to whatever economic or environmental hardship that comes your way in the future.
- And lastly, it’s fun, it tastes better, and gardening nourishes your soul!
Local Gardening Resources
- Seattle Department of Neighbors P-Patch Program – The City of Seattle maintains 2,500 plots on 23 acres of land around Seattle. There are currently three p-patches on the Hill, with a fourth on its way in 2009. If you have the time and the drive, there are ways to create your own p-patch!
- Seattle Tilth – Offers classes, workshops, demonstration gardens, a garden hotline, and plant sales in the spring and fall.
- Cascade Water Alliance offers an annual series of free gardening classes.
- Washington State University Extension: King County Gardening Fact Sheets – Loads of information for local gardeners.
- Green Seattle Partnership – A partnership with the City of Seattle and The Cascade Land Conservancy to combat invasive plants and restore native plants to Seattle parks and forest land. We take part in several work parties throughout the year – if you’d like to join Sustainable Capitol Hill’s Urban Garden Committee [link].
Local Seed Companies
Neighbors, friends, and family
If you don’t have a garden space, try partnering with someone you know who does. Chances are good that they’d enjoy having gardening company!
For composting information, please visit our Composting Resources page.