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Grow vegetables in a patio garden

Posted: Thursday, Apr 11th, 2013

Growing healthy vegetables can add extra nutrition that isn't always found on food bank shelves.

This is the second of a series of articles for Hunger Education Week – a week of educational events sponsored by La Puente Home and the Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley. For more information about events throughout the week, please visit http://lapuenteevents.wordpress.com/


Director, Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley

VALLEY — A week of events talking about hunger issues in the United States may seem odd, especially in the land of plenty.

However, in this country, hunger is not always a lack of calories but a lack of nutritional food choices for many. One of the ways to combat this is for families to rediscover gardening in their backyards. But what if they don’t have a backyard? What if they just have a small apartment, or tend to move a lot and can’t commit to an outdoor garden? Fear not! There are plenty of people who grow entire gardens in containers indoors or on their patios. It’s easy and fun and the perfect activity for beginning gardeners intimidated by large landscape projects.

CSU Extension offers some facts and tips on this fast growing segment of gardening:

* An advantage of container gardening is its portability and suitability for many lifestyles.

* Container gardens allow creative expression in small spaces. Container gardens add an instant landscaped look and add color.

* Container gardens are excellent for beginners as well as advanced gardeners.

* Consider container gardens for vegetables (tomatoes, lettuces), herbs, and concentrations of flower color and fragrance in small spaces.

* Containers can be grown where traditional gardens are not possible including apartment balconies, small courtyards, decks, patios, and areas with poor soil. They are an ideal solution for people in rental situations, with limited mobility, or with limited time to care for a large landscape. 

* Since containers are portable, they can be placed in well-used living areas during their prime and then removed or replaced after they’ve become spent. There are a variety of plants available for containers which are more affordable than ever before.

Best of all just about anything can be used for the container- polyethylene plastic bags, clay pots, plastic pots, metallic pots, milk jugs, ice cream containers, bushel baskets, barrels, planter boxes, shoe holders, baby pools, the list goes on.

Let’s celebrate Hunger Education Week by growing our own food.

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