Marika Wagner, nursery staff member at Bulleen Art and Garden (an SGA certified garden centre) raises some important issues regarding fruit and vegetable growing, and the politics of growing in drought conditions.

To ‘grow your own’ fruit and vegetables is one of the most environmentally friendly things you can do and here’s why!

1) Saves water. According to a study done by David Holmgren, co-founder of ‘Permaculture’, (Holmgren Design Services) efficient backyard growers can use as little as one fifth of the water compared to commercial growers per $ value of produce.

2) Saves up to 25% of greenhouse gases, by eliminating ‘food miles’. This means our fruit and vegetables don’t use excess energies, that is, they aren’t being machine harvested, transported to sorting sheds, stored in cool rooms, transported to market, then to supermarket, lit up by fluorescent lights, and then transported again to homes to be then stored again in the fridge. Plus they lose vitality and freshness along the way.

3) Reduces the overall Australia wide use of biocides like herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. This is because home produce gardens are naturally quite biodiverse and of a small scale, therefore more resilient, and easy to apply natural pest control methods to.

4) Frees up agricultural land to revert back to natural systems which means more beauty for our children, our grandchildren, our tourists, our wildlife and us to enjoy. It means a chance for the planet to gain back forests, biodiversity, water catchments and salt free topsoil.

Growing your own is good for us too

  • Home grown fruit and vegetables give us the best of nutrition by giving us access to fresh produce at our doorstep that still contains its maximum amount of vitamins and live enzymes.
  • Everyone knows that the fresher the food, the higher the vitamin content, but enzymes are important too because they aid the body to assimilate foods properly without causing undue stress and premature aging on the body’s own enzyme producing systems. How many people become sick unnecessarily because of poor digestion and malnutrition? Stomach cancer, bowel cancer, fatigue and feeling old before you’re old? For us to gain the benefit of live enzymes, the food must be uncooked and less than 3 hours old, something you can only get from a local garden!
  • Brings people and families together outdoors to gain healthy organic produce, fresh air, exercise and an awareness of our connection with nature. Get off that couch!
  • Saves money. Not all of us can afford an organic grocery bill every week, but most of us can afford some packets of seed and a bag of organic fertiliser that will provide for months.
  • Gives us something to be proud of, and not just for the reasons above but consider: Punnets of mixed herbs, tomatoes and basil, $14 Bag of organic fertiliser, $5 Serving your first, delicious, organic, home grown pasta sauce… priceless!