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Backyard Gardens

img_1300.jpgBackyard Gardens Fun for the Whole Family 

As food prices rise are people changing their behavior? Is expensive food prompting veggie lovers to grow their own? One Albuquerque resident and 2008 Local Food Festival participant says "yes!"

The food industry is seeing record interest in organic food, there is a growing trend toward purchasing locally-grown produce, and the sheer number of cooking shows on cable TV tells us that people are interested in good food. But with rising prices at the grocery store, backyard gardens offer a more affordable alternative.

"There was a bit of dirt, sweat and tears in putting in the bed, but the garden has been a fun, family project." says Molly Roberts, who recently started her first-ever vegetable garden. "We love to eat fresh veggies and we're looking forward to harvesting our own squash and tomatoes." 

The Roberts are not alone. The New York Times recently reported that more people than ever are planting a backyard garden for the first time. For some it is an economic issue, for others just a new "awareness" of food.   

Backyard gardens offer control over the food we eat, which is important considering the recent salmanella outbreak and other food-borne illnesses that have tainted our food supply. Also, home-, roof-top- and alley gardens provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables that might not otherwise exist—in New Mexico, 50% of residents must travel more than 10 miles to a food store. The renewed interest in gardening mirrors our national interest in victory gardens during World War II. Gardens that we create ourselves change the relationship we have with food. They also provide a learning opportunity for children, showing them that food doesn't just come from the grocery store. The Roberts' garden is a living laboratory of good food and good fun.

For more information on how to start your own garden, the following can be good resources. 

Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service

Master Gardeners of New Mexico

For further questions contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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