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Earth Week Day 3: Grow Your Own Food

It’s Earth Week!

Each day this week SLCgreen will post different tips and activities to challenge you to reduce your impact on the Earth.

Today, we are challenging you to grow your own food– whether that’s a pot of basil or something more ambitious.

April is the perfect time to think about planting seeds or starts and increasing your consumption of local food. Local food decreases the carbon emissions associated with food production and transport; preserves open space; supports local economies and wildlife; and so much more.

So what are you waiting for?

In the video above, Bryant Terry explains the benefits of farming in dense urban areas.

Growing food at home can be simple with the right tools – even in Utah. The first step toward growing your own food is assessing your resources. Do you have a yard space? Do you have sufficient sunlight or shade to fulfill plant needs? Do you have easy access to water on your property?

Answering these questions can help you decide if gardening onsite is best, or if you should look at other options in your area.

If your outdoor space is limited, consider reaching out to local community gardens to check if plots are available. Click here for a list of community gardens in the Salt Lake City area. Another option for smaller homes or apartments is window gardening – find the sunniest window in your home and try growing a few herbs or flowers in pots.

Find out which hardiness zone your garden will be in. A hardiness zone is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location, based on the average annual minimum winter temperature. Plant Maps is a mapping tool that shows hardiness zones within Utah’s borders. Next, find a resource that explains the proper planting, growing, and harvest time for various crops in your zone. A good resource is Utah Farmer: click here to see planting schedules for hardiness zones across Utah.

After setting up your gardening space, decide which foods you’d like to grow and start planting! Wasatch Community Gardens has several resources to get you started with various gardening needs, including composting, canning, and companion planting. Click here for the resource list.

For more information on food in Salt Lake City, visit www.slcgreen.com/food

Happy gardening. And eating!

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