Instead of a Garden of Your Own

The next best thing to growing your own is buying from those who grow their own. Not everyone has the space nor the time to grow their own vegetables. Yet who doesn’t crave the delicious taste of fresh from the garden produce? So instead of a garden of your own, get your fill of what’s in season by enjoying someone else’s garden. See if one or more of these will work for you:


Farm Stands

Drive 50 miles out of almost any city and you’ll begin to discover a more rural countryside, complete with seasonal farm stands. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of these towns, then getting fresh produce is a quick drive. If you’re from the city, a day or weekend trip is well worth the bounty. From strawberry season in May through pumpkin and squash season in October, farm stands are a great place to buy and even pick your own.

Farmer’s Markets

For those who haven’t the time or inclination to leave the city, more and more metropolitan areas have scheduled days when regional farmers set up shop. At farmer’s Markets, usually held out-of-doors in public spaces, you can find everything from produce in season, fresh meats, homemade jams and jellies, baked goods and even seedlings. A walk through a farmer’s market is like a breath of fresh air in the city. It will not only replenish your pantry but infuse your soul with health and wellbeing.

CSAs

Community-Supported Agriculture is a relatively new concept in small-scale farming. Brought to the United States in 1984 from Europe CSAs are great way to not only enjoy the fresh produce but experience a bit of the farm life firsthand. Interested people or families join the CSA at a certain price. Then in exchange for a pre-determined number of hours contributed to farm work, members get weekly allotments of produce. What is attractive about this type of farming to small growers is that it helps finance the farm, eliminates risk because you know exactly what and how much to grow to serve your members, it supplies built in manpower, and makes the whole process into a more social and community-minded activity. Each CSA is different. Some grow only vegetables, other supply vegetables, flowers, dairy and even meats. Many are organic. CSAs are an asset to rural communities as it helps keep farms in business and protects farmlands from development.

Increased interest in healthier foods has helped all three of these gardening alternatives skyrocket in popularity over the last several years. People’s new understandings of sustainable lifestyles and the importance of helping maintain the small farmer has helped to preserve, protect and grow our rural culture – even in the middle of metropolis’ like New York City.