Growing your own food is one of the most healthy activities you can do. Not only is a great way to get fresh organic fruits and vegetables, but it is also a great way to exercise and some fresh air. Many Americans here in Missouri can remember their parents or grandparents having a small vegetable garden. Some may remember a time when it was patriotic to grown your own greens! I think growing your own food is still a patriotic act. Growing your own food is important for people to try and incorporate into their lives. Whether you do it for patriotic reasons, health reason, or because you are a straight up Gangsta,I want to help give you some basic guidelines to follow.
Many people I know don’t garden because they are overwhelmed by the idea and feel that they don’t know enough. You don’t have to be a farmer to grow food! Turns out you don’t need much to get started.
I am not a property owner and I am empathic to people who don’t have land to grow on. My family and I have always rented. When we rented an apartment, we grew indoors in pots and containers on our porch. Growing indoors and on your porch can be as simple as getting a terra-cotta pot, soil, seeds, or starter plants at your local gardening store. We are lucky to now live near a few great garden stores with helpful and knowledgeable staff. Local garden centers are also great resources for new gardeners, specifically they can advise you on what and how to grow in your area.
Here are a few we like in St. Louis: O.K. Hatchery Feed and Garden Store (an old-school operation located in Kirkwood without a website), Greenscape Gardens, Sugar Creek Gardens, and Garden Heights Nursery.
For those who want to use a little more modern technology and shop online, you can find some cool growers like this simple one or our daughter’s favorite indoor herb garden. If you are opting for a smaller garden, we usually use either an indoor water mister to create the humid atmosphere some plants may need, or a watering can that looks so good you won’t need to put it away when guests come over! (I have a red one for my office plants.) We also happen live near Happy Hydro which is a store that specializes in indoor gardening and has a very knowledgeable owner. I would recommend Happy Hydro if you are wanting a more extensive indoor garden. We mainly grow houseplants that help purify the air, also known as the “NASA houseplants”, in our house and don’t have a complicated set up.
When we rent a house, we get permission from our landlord to grow on their land. In our experience, our past and current landlords are thrilled that we want to make their property look more beautiful by adding a garden. There have been limitations on our garden because we don’t own the land, but we are still able to have very satisfying gardens.
If you are unlucky and your landlord doesn’t allow you to have an in-ground garden, you still may be able to grow in containers inside or on the porch. I would also encourage you to see if there are any community gardens in your area. Contact the city or town you live in to see what resources they have or you can check out the American Community Gardening Association. If it doesn’t exist and you are a total Bad Ass, you could start your own!
Shout out to John Kholer, Growing Your Greens, our YouTube mentor in the cold dark winters—when you can’t grow anything, but you can still dream.