One of the easiest steps to a more sustainable lifestyle involves starting a vegetable garden. Not only will this help you create your own supply of food, it can also serve as the foundation for another wonderful project on sustainability; creating your own compost.
If you are interested in starting this cycle of sustainability in your own life, consider the following steps to help get you started.
Understand Your Soil
Whether you start by focusing on composting or gardening may depend on the quality of your soil. If your soil lacks the organic material necessary to grow strong, healthy plants, you may need to supplement it before you begin planting. While you can buy compost to work into your existing soil, you may prefer to create your own from scratch.
You can begin creating your own compost with the food scraps you would normally throw away, and with a suitable compost bin. Your compost bin can be homemade, if you have the proper tools for the job, or can be purchased. For example, the Envirocycle Composteamaker, can help take your compost and use it to produce a highly-potent compost tea, a liquid fertilizer than can be used to strength the nutritional content of all of your soils.
Choose Your Plants
Once you know your soil is in the best shape possible, you can begin planting your vegetables. If you aren’t sure where to begin, you can always start with some of the most popular options, such as tomatoes and cucumbers. Otherwise, consider which vegetables are your favorites to eat and see if they are appropriate for your local climate.
Many vegetables can be grown across the United States, so you are sure to find a few staples of which you will always appreciate having your own fresh supply.
Begin the Cycle
As you tend to your vegetables, make sure and take any clippings and put them straight into your compost bin, along with the remnants of any vegetables you prepare as part of a meal. Those remnants will begin to create more compost which can be used to feed your current plants or expand your usable soil within a larger space. In turn, healthy soil helps produce healthy plants, and you are able to reap the benefits in the form of delicious vegetables.
If you find that your crop gets to large, you can look into various methods of preservation, such as canning or freezing, or connect with friends, family, and coworkers who may enjoy your excess produce. In some cases, your extras can even be donated to food banks or soup cushions, allowing your garden to give back in more ways that you originally thought possible.
Maintain the Cycle
As long as you take the time to care for your garden, it can keep supplying you with a consistent source of fresh vegetables for years to come. As you become more comfortable with the process, you can focus on rotating your vegetables based on season, and preserving excess for times when that particular plant does not produce food.
All of your scraps can keep your compost strong, allowing the health of your soil and plants to continue into the foreseeable future, and closing the loop on a cycle of sustainability of which you can be proud.