The importance of kitchen-backyard garden

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The idea behind this column is to promote the culture of eating what we grow and growing what we eat. This column is proudly sponsored by FARM FRESH which is The Gambia’s first online Vegetables and Fruits Delivery service (www.farmfresh.gm) allowing anyone from within The Gambia or abroad to place orders online or via phone and have the items delivered to their doorsteps at home or at the office.  All the vegetables are locally grown (organic).

It goes without saying that a healthy mind can only be found in a healthy body. There is also a saying which appears simple but is in fact deep in meaning, “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT”.

“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” Ancient Earthian Ayurvedic Proverb. It is for these reasons Farm Fresh is happy to partner with Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute, in order to create awareness and acceptance of our locally grown vegetables and fruits.

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Understanding what we eat and how we eat plays a significant role in our overall health and well-being. This weeks’ article takes a look at the importance of having a backyard garden in your homes. 

Thinking of a Backyard Garden? Go ahead, do it!

Have you ever wondered where the food that you consume comes from? Where is it grown? Who produces it? What is your role in this?

Backyard gardening is in the spotlight, not because it is a tik-tok or social media phenomenon, but rather it is a tried-and-true means of ensuring that we continue to sustain our family as previous generations did for themselves. It is a way of reconnecting to our foods, hence backyard gardening is simply growing healthy fruits, vegetables, and herbs at home in any way that you can.

 Long before the onset of the global health pandemic communities of people were already engaged in growing their own foods at home and taking pride in what they produced. This, however, has taken on a new sense of urgency in light of current situations. Backyard gardening is not a novel concept- instead, it should be viewed as a radical act of self-sufficiency and food autonomy. One of the few positive and recognizable effects of the pandemic is the resurgence of cultivating backyard gardens. More emphasis is being placed on its importance for several reasons, not limited to rising cost and questionable quality of available food. Examples; are the high cost of vegetable produce, concerns over the use of pesticides, and foods that have been genetically modified.

The truth is, not many persons have access to yard spaces or large plots of land to grow their own foods. Yet, this should not be a deterrent, it is not expected that you grow every single food item that you consume. Rather, people would be surprised how much food they are able to grow with just a little ingenuity and the least complications. From pots to raised beds and even recycling plastic containers there are myriads of solutions to limited spaces. In general, backyard gardening can significantly make a difference in our health- what we put on our plates, getting more physical activities, and a bonus on our pockets.

An important contribution and impact of backyard gardening that should not be overlooked is the strengthening of family bonds and creating a sense of community through shared activities. As for nutrition and well-being backyard gardening is a simplified way of inspiring the family and by extension the wider society to take a greater interest in where your food comes from.

Note: This article is not meant for readers to become overwhelmed. Taking on too many plants at once may cause you to throw down the cutlass and hoe (literally). Instead, start growing your own organic kitchen garden slowly. One plant at a time. It can be your favorite herb or a vegetable that requires minimal attention. Now, go plant and eat. Until next time, eat well!