The environment is important. That’s a widely known fact, just as it’s widely known that we, as citizens of the earth, should be doing our best to protect and preserve it. Agriculture is one of the biggest sources of pollution today, including carbon emissions and various runoff from pesticides, fertilizer, and fuel used in farming. What I’d like to do is provide one history-based method for combating this, and with a dose of food health to boot: the kitchen garden.
The kitchen garden, or its French form, the potager, is a place where families have both historically and currently, grown flowers, fruits, herbs, and vegetables, often intermixed. They’re often both beautiful and useful, mixing both attractive and edible plants, placed in simple or elaborate designs. They can produce a household’s herbs, along with a significant proportion of its fresh, seasonal vegetable needs.
So, how does it help your household and the planet? First, there’s the benefit of any of the family’s children being involved in the growing of their food and therefore more likely to try it. There’s the continuous supply of fresh, healthy fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and you know and control exactly how they were grown. And, lastly, there’s the possibility for greater environmental sustainability than store-bought counterparts. Having a compost pile reduces the need for fertilizer, natural pesticides instead of artificial ones can be used, drip irrigation systems conserve water, and there’s little fuel involved in managing the garden yourself- all reducing your environmental footprint.
While overall pollution reduction is crucial to conserving earth’s ecosystems and combating climate change, individual efforts can help make a difference.