The snow is melting, the tulips are popping, and the birds are chirping! This is always a good sign that spring has sprung! One other good sign is the local news and radios are advertising the openings of the farmers’ markets across the state. Have you ever been to a farmers’ market? Just the sight and smell alone of fresh will entice you to come back regularly during the season. One thing that has piqued people’s interest in the last few years is the farmers’ market! It not only is a great place to find just picked berries to beautiful cut flowers but it is a way to expose and educate the younger generation about good clean food. The small family farm is crumbling and younger generations are not as exposed to “Grandpa and Grandma’s farm like the Gen X and Y’s before them. Millennials are seeking opportunities other than farming that can afford them a different lifestyle. The idea of buying fresh, however, has this generation flocking to farmers markets and whole food grocery stores during the season just to get the most recently picked tomato or pesticide free cucumber. With all the recalls on lettuce, what do you do to ensure you are buying safe produce? Buy locally or grow your own!
It is poised that the millennials with surpass the baby boomers in population by 2019 and with that there will be a lot of interested 18-34 year olds wanting to grow their own. Healthy eating and exercise are important to this generation! Eating your greens, whether in a smoothie or a well thought out recipe, has become top priority to healthy living. Millennials have doubled their spending on food gardening from the millions to the billions since 2008 and the interest will only increase. So many options are available for gardening from garden beds, and planters, to community gardens. One thing is for sure, with the right resources anyone can garden!
If you are looking to join the green obsession by starting a garden here are some resources and ideas to consider.
Check local schools and universities as well as park and recreation departments to find a community garden near you. There may be a fee to belong, but if space is what you need, this is a great option. If you are really passionate and have the space, start your own and invite others!
Elevated Garden Beds
There are lots of options available when it comes to an elevated garden bed. All kinds of sizes and shapes and colors and features that can best fit your space, time and needs. Check out new products and do ample research to ensure your money is well spent on a garden that will give you years of enjoyment. Most elevated garden beds fit nicely into small spaces and are easy to maintain. Consider self-watering units if having little to no time to garden scares you. Self-watering units are a plant and leave alone method of gardening.
Grow bags and planter boxes as well as pots and trays are other ways to start a small garden. Dwarf varieties of vegetables are available to plant as well as the new and popular microgreens that have everyone raving on how easy they are to grow as well as how tasty they are. Again, ample research of the product will ensure money well spent.
So if these options entice you to start a garden, get started and join the green obsession! If you have never been to a farmers’ market by all means plan a day and go! I think of the days my sister and I would go to craft shows (because we loved them!) and we would walk away marveling at our abilities and say under our breath at every booth “you could make that!” Farmers’ markets are a great way to reap the benefits of healthy clean food. They are a way to support local farmers and without a doubt a way to motivate you to say “Hey, I can grow that!”
“Green is the prime color of the world and that from which its loveliness arises”
Pedro Calderon De La Barca