Updated: Aug 27
This post was authored by Cara Hicks, one of Great Kids Farm's talented YouthWorks students for Summer 2020.
Around Baltimore City I have noticed a severe food desert, where there are more fast food places around than supermarkets. I realize how hard it is having fast food places around and how easy, cheap and fast it is to fall in line to get some food rather than spend your time and money in a supermarket. It can also be hard to access supermarkets when there aren't any close to your home, especially if you don’t have easy access to transportation.
A fun and fulfilling way to access fresh food is to start growing your own. Starting the process of growing food will take time, patience, and maintenance but the end result will be much greater. This summer I began to grow my own plants such as cucumbers, carrots, bell and banana peppers, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, and chard. It has been challenging growing my seedlings because of the heat. The weather has constantly been affecting my plants' growth. Either it was too hot outside, causing me to water them a lot, or there were storms, which blew them away. You should always be prepared for any type of condition. Being aware of what the weather will be like really helps you prepare for the day.
Harvesting your own food such as vegetables, herbs, and fruit will not only save you a lot of money, it will also lead you on a healthier path. Growing your food allows easy access to it whenever it is needed -- while also keeping you active as you maintain all your plants. Also, it can be better for the environment. During this current pandemic, when it isn’t the safest thing to go to the supermarket and buy fruits and vegetables because of the risk of exposure to the virus, growing your own food means you don’t have to worry if it's safe to eat or touch because you’ll know what was around.
Some easy vegetables to grow are lettuce, carrots, green beans, potatoes and more -- no matter your age or skill level. With all those vegetables comes a variety of tasty and healthy recipes you can cook. I like to get a lot of my recipes at https://tasty.co/. My favorite recipe I got from there is a stuffed bell pepper recipe. Once my bell peppers are done growing, that is the first recipe I will make. I believe growing your own food will motivate you to start going to the market instead of fast food places.
PHOTO: a baby cucumber grows on Cara's cucumber plant, which she trellised herself with some yarn and bamboo!