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Grow Your Own Sense of Food Security

Grow Your Own Sense of Food Security

This year, we began a blog series to promote year-round growing, not knowing what would lie ahead. Many of our recommendations have given advice on how to grow food not just in a large garden or greenhouse, but also utilizing containers indoors, balconies, raised beds– really anywhere you can add a little green to your life. Now, with quarantines and supply chain disruptions, we understand that growing food for yourself may soon be more than a hobby, and might impact your overall food security. With that in mind, please enjoy our top recommendations for quick starting your food production and getting your plants to start producing ASAP.

  1. Take Control of Your Food Supply: Growing your own food puts you in the driver's seat, allowing you to take control of your food supply. By reducing reliance on external sources and supermarkets, you become less vulnerable to disruptions in the food chain. Whether it's a natural disaster, supply chain disruptions, or rising food prices, growing your own food provides a reliable and sustainable source of nourishment.

  2. Enjoy Fresh, Nutritious Produce: Homegrown produce offers unparalleled freshness and nutritional value. Harvesting fruits, vegetables, and herbs at peak ripeness ensures maximum flavor and nutrient content. You have the power to choose the varieties you grow, emphasizing taste, diversity, and nutritional density. By cultivating a diverse range of crops, you can enjoy a well-rounded and nutrient-rich diet.

  3. Build Resilience in Uncertain Times: Growing your own food fosters resilience in the face of uncertainty. By cultivating a resilient food system, you become less dependent on external factors beyond your control. Whether it's extreme weather events, economic fluctuations, or unforeseen circumstances, having a garden provides a buffer and a source of sustenance during challenging times.

  4. Teach Valuable Life Skills: Growing your own food is a journey that offers valuable life skills for individuals and families. From planning and problem-solving to nurturing and harvesting, gardening teaches patience, perseverance, and the importance of resourcefulness. It provides an opportunity to connect with nature, understand the seasons, and develop a deeper appreciation for the food we consume.

  5. Promote Environmental Stewardship: By growing your own food, you contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly food system. You can implement organic gardening practices, reduce the use of harmful chemicals, and support biodiversity by creating habitats for beneficial insects and pollinators. By cultivating a deeper connection to nature and adopting sustainable gardening techniques, you become an environmental steward.

  6. Start Small and Learn as You Grow: Embarking on a journey of food security doesn't require a vast garden or extensive knowledge. Start small and gradually expand your growing space as you gain confidence and experience. Begin with a few pots or a small raised bed, and gradually increase the variety and quantity of crops you grow. Learning from both successes and failures will enrich your gardening journey.

  7. Preserve and Share the Harvest: Preserving the surplus from your garden extends the benefits of homegrown food beyond the growing season. Explore food preservation techniques such as canning, freezing, fermenting, or drying to store excess produce for future use. Additionally, consider sharing your harvest with neighbors, friends, or local community organizations to foster a sense of community resilience.

  8. Connect with Like-minded Gardeners: Joining gardening communities and connecting with like-minded individuals can provide support, knowledge sharing, and inspiration. Local gardening clubs, online forums, or social media groups offer opportunities

Food Security

Amid the global crisis of staying healthy as a pandemic threatens our daily lives, food security is more on our minds than ever. Having access to your own supply of fresh, nutritious food when stores and supply chains are unreliable can give you peace of mind, as well as a healthy diet.

How to Stimulate Quick Plant Growth


Like all living things, plants will thrive in an environment that is suited to their needs. Nourishment, light, water, and optimal temperatures are needed for seedlings to develop into healthy, bountiful crops. The absence of any one of these components can disrupt the plant’s ability to grow. Practicing good gardening methods and creating the healthiest environment for your plants will result in hearty yields and increase your own food production.

Soil for quick plant growth

Soil is the best place to start when planning your planting. Different plants have different soil requirements, so plan your in-ground bed arrangements to be able to separate your soil additives. If you are growing in containers or in a greenhouse, this becomes much easier to plan.

Start with a soil testing kit to determine what your soil is composed of, and what it may lack. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, organic matter, and other soil additives can enrich your plant’s soil and nutrient profile.

Your seedlings may prefer rocky or sandy soil, or richer, more dense soil, so be sure to check a Farmer’s Almanac or other sources for your specific plants’ needs. Your local Ag. Extension Service an excellent resource to assist in your gardening endeavors.

Lighting for quick plant growth


A plant’s primary food source is light. Whether natural or artificial, without adequate light, plant growth can be stunted and slow, due to limited photosynthesis. Plants use all spectrums of light to create sugars for their survival, as well as to trigger growth responses.

A greenhouse is the best way to capture the sun’s power, promoting growth while keeping your plants protected from pests and adverse conditions. Greenhouses can also be outfitted with supplemental grow lights, or with blackout tarps and covers, both of which can be used to affect plants blooming, flowering, and fruiting cycles.

When growing outdoors or inside your home, planting on a south-facing slope, or in a southern exposed window where the sunlight pours in will generally speed up growth and fruiting. In any growing environment, if you can give extended light periods (in your greenhouse or under lamps) that will boost production immensely and reduce both weed and pest invasion.

As with soil, different plants also have different lighting requirements, so check online for the best advice for each crop you are growing. Researcher partners from the John Innes Centre, the University of Queensland, and the University of Sydney found that using lights that are optimized for increased photosynthesis in specific plants increased crop production threefold.

Temperature for quick plant growth


Maintaining the perfect temperature for your plants can be difficult. Making use of hoop houses, covering when there is a cold snap, and adjusting watering schedules can help, but more perfect control can be obtained within a greenhouse setting. Maintaining the correct temperature for specific plants encourages growth and prevents damage. Know which temperatures your plants thrive in to encourage faster and healthier growth, and plan your planting calendar to take the best advantage of natural weather patterns if you are not growing inside of a greenhouse.

Increasing Food Security in Your Community

An idea that is taking hold in many communities is cooperative growing. Friends and family plan their crops together to take the best advantage of their own resources and can grow a greater variety of foods to share together. If you have a greenhouse full of juicy tomatoes, but your neighbor’s sandy soil is more suited to cilantro and root vegetables, then cooperative growing might be a great solution to increase your food security.

Staggering plantings and harvests with friends and neighbors will also help decrease your labor. If you plant two crops with similar light, soil, nutrient, and watering needs, and your co-op partner plants two different crops, then you can both optimize your feeding and watering efforts yet still have a variety of fresh, healthy food sources.

More Growing Tips for Maximum Food Security


In the coming weeks, our blog will focus on more growing tips, on seed starting, on crops that grow quickly, on different growing methods, and on different types of greenhouses and the best crops for them. We hope you all stay well and continue to support your health with the best from your edible garden.

If you’d like to discuss how a greenhouse can support your food security, our experts would love to speak with you! Call 1-800-531-4769 or send us an email today. Happy Growing!