My great-grandfather planted a fruit tree each time he moved into a new home to provide for future generations of the family. I love this idea and living in an apartment hasn’t stopped me from carrying on the family tradition of growing food at home. Instead of a fruit tree, I have vegetables and herbs in containers on my balcony.No matter how big or small your space, growing your own vegetables and herbs is a deeply rewarding experience. It is so exciting to pull your own carrots from the soil and to add your home grown oregano to a fresh pot of soup! Plus, it’s a great way to connect with nature and your food.
Did you know that kids who grow their own veggies, fruits and herbs are more likely to eat and enjoy them?
Growing food is a skill that can be improved over a lifetime. If you’ve never tried growing vegetables or herbs before, start small with just one or two kinds. A little preparation will go a long way toward a successful harvest:
- Find the right place. Choose a sunny spot for your garden like a balcony or patio, a plot in a community garden or your back yard, or on the window sill. Different plants have different needs for sun and soil so it’s helpful to know the number of hours the sun hits your chosen spot and how deep the soil is.
- Think about what to grow. What would you be excited to grow? Not every type of vegetable can grow in B.C., so learn about the light and soil conditions each of your chosen veggies or herbs need to be happy. Ask the staff at your local gardening store or check out these guides on How to Grow Vegetables that explain light and soil conditions for specific plants.
- Choose which vegetables or herbs to grow. Match the plants’ growing needs to the light and soil conditions your garden spot provides.
- Plan when to plant. Different plants will grow best at different times of the year. Decide when to plant your starts (baby plants) or seeds by using these planting charts for the B.C. coast, south central and north regions.
If growing your own veggies and herbs isn’t an option for you, consider visiting a local farm. Many small and medium size farms have weekly veggie and fruit box programs and welcome community members to get involved.
What will you plant this spring?