Charles Schroder of St. Albert utilizes many raised garden beds for various vegetables.

Gardening: a subversive activity, a step to reduce global warming and a step to nutritional food

Gardening is a small step in combatting global warming

Plagiarism is copying; research is using information from many sources. In my case, I buy gardening books, gardening magazines, cruise the Internet, and then try out some of their recommendations.

One article from Mother Earth suggests that gardening is a subversive activity, taking profit from agribusiness and the supermarket industry. So what! While I am almost self-sufficient regarding vegetables for six months a year, I still buy groceries, including fruit and vegetables in the offseason.

While the usual benefit of gardening includes saving money while eating fresher and tastier vegetables, it is also a small step to combat global warming. And the physical activity is helpful to my health.

An April 2019 article in Walrus, a Canadian magazine, described the plight of up to four million Canadians who are deprived of healthy food. Some are barely making ends meet month to month, others can barely afford one meal a day. All are unable to eat enough healthy vegetables and fruit. While some are disabled and some have mental problems, many are trapped in a cycle of low wages and high housing costs. Health care costs are higher for this group of citizens. While governments are slow to address this problem, Newfoundland has reduced the number of food-deprived citizens by 50 percent by increasing the benefits of social assistance. It is possible that Newfoundland has merely transferred the savings of reduced health care costs to the cost of increased social assistance. The results: healthier adults and children at no additional cost to the government.

Food banks are like a pain killer – they mask the pain but don’t eliminate the cause of a lack of nutritional food. Therefore, the St. Albert Community Village and Food Bank has developed a variety of programs, including financial literacy, nutrition, agency referrals and gardening as ways to help their clients to become self-sufficient.

One step anyone can take to eat healthy food is to garden. Food taken from your garden and immediately eaten is always healthier than store-bought food. And cheaper.

So, I am here to persuade you to start a garden in your back yard, your front yard, or your patio, whether you are nutritionally food-deprived or not. A small step for the environment, a large step if many garden. I am a proponent of the raised bed and container gardening. A raised bed can go anywhere, except your patio. It should be about 12 inches (30 cm) deep and four feet wide. Length is optional. Materials for a raised bed can include untreated lumber, concrete block, or even rocks. If you decide to put it on your lawn, you don’t even have to remove the grass. Just cover the grass with cardboard or paper and fill it with compost, plant material, and dirt. Then plant, weed, water, and eat.

You may contact me through the St. Albert Community Village and Food Bank or send me an email here.


One Response

  1. Charlie: I am an events coordinator for the St Albert and Area Retired Teachers Association. Would you speak to our retired teachers group virtually in St Albert sometime in March or April for about 45 minutes. We would give you an honorarium.

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