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Farm-to-table in your garage, is it possible?

Aug 09, 2021
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You say it’s organic and fresh? Of course, we want that on our plates! “What’s for dinner?” is a perpetually asked question at home everyday. Yesterday, we had pasta. The other night, we had grilled steak. Two nights ago, we had Chinese takeout. And if we are going to list the menu for the past week, we might see a repeat. Just thinking of what to cook--or order if we do not want to cook or simply do not have the time--has become a tedious task for many of us. But it would not be that hard if we get the thrill of having to harvest the ingredients from our own homes. And during these times that COVID-19 pandemic has struck the world and slowed down activities outside our homes, we are advised to stay at home to prevent contracting and spreading the virus. Picking our vegetables from the comforts of our homes will lessen our exposure outside. Healthy lifestyle starts from the food we eat. Thus, in-door farming can be beneficial for the whole family.

What is farm-to-table?

The idea of farm-to-table stems from producing organic food just outside your kitchen, literally. By rule of thumb, it is sourcing organic produce within a 100-mile radius of your home. So why is farm-to-table THAT beneficial to us? It is also by definition a naturally grown produce. This means that it is sustainable, cheaper, safe and clean. It is sustainable food because the food production guarantees that the environment--people, animals, plants, lands are safeguarded. It is miles away from the industrialized and processed foods that cause air and water pollution, soil erosion, and use of artificial and synthetic pesticides, which we all know--and backed up by studies, have lingering harmful effects on us. And most processed produce are genetically modified to cater to large demands and big batches of exports. Sustainable foods veer away from the toxic elements, which allow healthy ecosystems to flourish. Locally-produced foods are definitely cheaper than the grocery-bought goods. Why, you may ask? It is because after harvesting the foods, it directly goes to the kitchen for individuals and local markets for local farmers. The overhead price of transportation and rent are already deducted in the price. Of course, it is much cheaper if you grow your vegetables on your own property. But supporting your local farmers can give them the much-needed morale and financial support. Farm-to-table offers a healthy diet and fresh food. There is a vast wealth of health in this! It decreases the risk of getting diseases that we get from the diet and food that we consume. Fruits and vegetables retain higher levels of nutrients and taste better when freshly picked and go straight to your kitchen. The lengthy transporting and storing of produce can lose the much needed nutrients we can benefit from them. Also, most are picked unripe to compensate for the travel time so that by the time they hit the shelves, the produce will still look freshly picked and beautiful. Also, these goods that we find in the supermarket undergo preservation by adding additives. Having locally-produced (or even home-produced) goods reduces the carbon footprint and fossil fuels that the food industry creates.

Can you grow vegetables in your garage?

Growing your own food in your garage warrants a raised eyebrow. I mean--isn’t the garage always associated with the dirty, manual labor? Ok, hear us out. Going green is the trend nowadays, and should be rightly so. If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is to keep yourself and your surroundings clean. And of course, to take care of your health and protect yourself from unwanted viruses lingering around us and in our body. So here goes, yes, it is possible to grow your vegetables in your garage! But first, you need patience--a lot of it. Planting and growing vegetables is no easy feat, especially if you are new to the trade. It requires patience in watering the plants, and waiting for the first sprout to show, and eventually harvesting your first leaf or fruit.

Start with three or five crops

It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices of seeds you can purchase in the market. So why not just start with three or five. Some common vegetables and herbs you can consider are carrot, tomato, pepper, onion, mushroom, ginger, cabbage, kale, mint, basil, parsley, thyme, oregano and rosemary. They are in the easier tier of vegetables and herbs to grow and take care of. Mushrooms and herbs don’t need much sunlight so they are perfect to be kept inside the garage. Mushrooms, for example, need moist and dark areas. You can put them in a rectangular pot placed in an overhead garage storage racks or wall shelving, which Fleximounts has. They sure are sturdy and can hold your vegetable garden. Other vegetables that need sunlight can be placed just outside the garage or hung on windows with the help of Fleximounts garage hooks and wall shelving.

Prepare your garage

First, identify the space that you would be needing. Do you need a big space or a small one can suffice? If you can’t help but have other things stored in the garage, just make sure that your own vegetable garden is always kept clean and far from toxic materials. What you need is to cultivate a healthy environment for your vegetables, which you will also consume. Why not place them on overhead garage storage racks? This will also keep them away from your dog’s reach. Oh, dogs love to tinker with soil! Second, identify the light source. For vegetables to grow well and fast, there needs to be an adequate light source. Still have space by the garage window, put them there. Outside the garage walls can also be a good option. If you do not have a space with direct sunlight, an artificial light source will also do. A fluorescent light fixture or incandescent and halogen light fixtures are going to be your best bet. As far as temperature goes, always check the desired temperature for each kind of crop. And research well on the methods of watering the crops that will be most efficient.

Enjoy your produce

Now you can now harvest your own food ingredients at home! A salad for dinner? We’d love that!