South Vancouver residents turn to home gardening

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Home gardens are becoming increasingly popular because South Vancouver residents are concerned about the food they’re putting in their bodies, says local food experts.

Community garden
Langara community garden. Photo by Michelle Gamage

Growing yourself allows gardeners to control the healthiness of crops and the amount of pesticides and chemicals used.

Health concious residents save money while eating right

“People are more concerned about their health, so they don’t want to go to the store and buy produce that they don’t know what’s being sprayed on them or if they’re being genetically modified,” said Amanda Jarrett, Langara College organic master gardener course instructor. “The prices at the stores are very expensive. It comes back to necessity.”

Jarrett is one of countless Lower Mainland residents who craft their own home gardens, growing a variety of plants such as potatoes, tomatoes and kale year-round. She thinks this trend of planting your own food will be taking off in Vancouver.

“A lot of people are really getting into it. The organic movement is really taking hold.”

Time spent growing at home means better tasting food

Foods from home gardens are also richer in flavour because its natural sugars are retained, noted Jarrett.

“When they pick it from the field, they have to truck it. Those sugars are diminished within the travel time and when it’s stored on shelves,” she said. “That alone makes food taste better and more nutritious because it doesn’t have a long way to go.”

Peggy Harowitz, program coordinator of sustainable communities at Langara, said home gardens also allow people to create a connection to where their food comes from.

“I think a lot of the time that connection has been severed,” she said. “They go to the grocery store and have no concept or awareness of where their food comes from, how it came to be and I think that’s really important. You have control over your own garden.”

Reported by Kendra Wong

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