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How to Start Growing Organic Food at Home

“100% organic” is a label we can spot in many supermarkets or groceries these days, on a range of items. It is a guarantee that the product is pure, free from chemical additives, not processed using artificial techniques. A company should comply with a long list of requirements to have such a label on their products. There is, however, another way of getting fresh and organic food instead of looking for the certificate – you can grow it yourself. It may not be the easiest way to get your food, but you will know for sure where it comes from and that it is naturally grown. Besides, veggie farming can become a great hobby and save you the money traditionally spent on this type of food.

One of the easiest ways to pursue home farming is to start a vegetable garden. With just a small plot of land or some containers, you can grow a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that can be used for cooking.

But even if you don't have access to an outdoor space, don't worry – you can grow food at home. There are many ways to practise indoor farming as long as your plants get the basics: light, water, and nutrients. Here are some ideas to establish and develop your indoor vegetable garden:

  • Vertical farm. The concept is simply to stack beds vertically to make a tower, with crops growing on each layer. The benefits of vertical farming are saving space, less water consumption, varied crops, controlled environment, green energy.

  • Hydroponics. It is the science of growing plants without using soil, by feeding them on mineral nutrient salts dissolved in water, in which their roots are submerged (RHS) .

  • Aeroponics. A method of growing plants without soil. Instead, roots are suspended in the air and irrigated with a nutrient-dense mist. That way, the roots have greater access to oxygen, generating healthier plants, significantly faster crop growth rates and increased yields (LettUs Grow).

  • Greenhouse. Placed on an open air terrain yet still being an indoor space, a greenhouse can be a good way to grow food throughout the year. You will need some space to install it, of course, but it will allow controlled environment conditions for your plants, with no need to grow them right inside your house.

Home farming presents some challenges. You will need to invest time and effort into learning about soil quality, pest management, and crop rotation. You may also need to invest money in buying equipment, such as gardening tools or hydroponic systems. Depending on where you reside, you may need to comply with local zoning regulations or Residents Association rules.

  • Whichever type of growing you choose, the plants all need the same basics:

  • Use appropriate grow lights and know how much light per day the plants need.

  • ‘Whether you use soil or another medium, use fertilizers to make sure plants get enough nutrients.’ (Ellis, 2020).

  • If you’re new to indoor or veggie gardening, start with plants that are easier to grow. Try lettuce, herbs, and tomatoes.

  • Consider using an indoor growing kit. These come with everything you need and in a variety of sizes. You may get a small kitchen countertop system to grow a few lettuce plants or a large grow kit to feed the whole family.

With the right resources and a little bit of determination, anyone can farm at home. Not only can this provide you with fresh, healthy food, but it can also be a great way to connect with nature and reduce your impact on the environment. So why not give it a try? Start a little experiment with different vegetables or herbs and see how your home farming adventure takes shape. Who knows, you may end up with a thriving urban farm in your own place.

-Marina Novokhatska

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