Monday, February 16, 2009

Verlyn Klinkenborg: "Sow Those Seeds!"

Several months ago I posted a blog advocating backyard gardens as a way to teach our children about food.

Yesterday, Verlyn Klinkenborg, a member of The New York Times Editorial Board and a brilliant writer on rural and agricultural issues, wrote a short piece adding two other reasons: fiscal and mental health.

Having grown my own vegetables for the last five years, I couldn’t agree more, especially about the psychological aspect. I feel a certain tranquility and accomplishment every time I smell the soil, sow seeds or pull a carrot from the ground.

And not paying $3 for a bunch of kale doesn't hurt either.

I’ll also add two other reasons for having a vegetable patch: flavor and nutrition. Whatever I grow (string beans, lettuces, scallions, turnips, garlic, etc.) tastes better than store-bought. Also, the moment vegetables are removed from the ground or picked from a vine, their vitamin and mineral content begins to wither. Broccoli from somewhere else is no match for broccoli from your backyard.

Yes, it’s the middle of February, but in about six weeks I’ll start sowing seeds for peas, lettuces, radishes and dark leafy greens.

I can’t wait.

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