Green Thumb, you can have one too!

Growing your own food is not only good for the environment, but it is also great for your family's health. It can reduce the cost of your grocery trips, ensure the food your eating is 100% organic as well as reducing your carbon footprint. If you have a large back yard with healthy soil in Virginia or just a window sill for hanging baskets in NYC, you can grow some of your own food. There are even ways to grow produce indoors.

Rainwater is the best resource for your garden because it is essentially free. I have some containers sitting out on my deck near my plants and they fill up with rainwater and I use them to water my plants. You could use a rain barrel to collect water from your house as well, but this will cost more so it depends on how much you intend on planting. It might be well worth the cost. Make sure to water your plants early in the morning or late in the evening to prevent evaporation.

Compost is a must if you want to plant your own garden. I should have a completed batch of compost to show you in next week's blog, but for this topic, know that you can either make your own compost from your kitchen scraps and recycled materials, or you can buy compost. Composting is better for the environment and will give you free soil!

You can plant your garden in many different containers. Some people prefer a raised plant bed and others used recycled containers. For example, you could use old yogurt containers to plant herbs in. Make sure that the bottom of your container has a drain hole because overwatering your plants can be detrimental so we want to make sure if you do, it will drain out.

The easiest plants to start with would be herbs, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, squash, spinach, green beans, carrots and peppers. Do not get overwhelmed and try to plant too many things at once. Its much better to start small, pick 1-2 things and get those nice and healthy before you start a new one.

is a great site that will help you decide what to plant when depending on where you live in the U.S.

You can buy seeds or can buy the plants from your local farm or gardening center. For you new gardeners, I suggest you start with an already cultivated plant from a local farm. They are already mature enough, and you won't spend a ton of time waiting for the seeds to grow out of the ground. Buying local is always the most Eco-friendly option since you are preventing a shipment to your home, but If you want to go the seed route I suggest they specialized in heirloom seeds. They are a great company that is committed to keeping our gardening green.

Happy gardening!

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