It’s so easy to just buy from the supermarket. Why grow food at home?
Because we want…
Fresh, Local Food
Ask any good chef. Fresh, local food tastes better than food that’s picked too soon and stored too long in warehouses and shipping containers. And there is nothing fresher and more local than food grown just outside your kitchen door.
Produce picked fresh from your garden is the most nutritious. It’s free from industrial food contamination, toxic imports and additives linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hyperactivity, allergies and many more chronic diseases.
More Time Outdoors
If you’re actively tending a garden, you’re getting the kind of exercise people pay the gym for. Just having a food garden at home will draw you outside more. Children will spend more time outdoors when a kid-friendly garden sparks their imagination.
Less Food Waste
Growing perishable food for mass markets in far-flung locations generates food waste at every step, from farming to processing to shipping to selling. When you grow your food at home, you step out of that wasteful paradigm… even more so when you compost your food scraps into soil for your garden.
Less Plastic Pollution
You don’t need rigid plastic tubs and foam trays to walk your just-picked vegetables from your garden to your kitchen. By growing your own, you can stop discarding all those single-use plastic containers that trash our beaches and clog our landfills.
When you grow your own food, you take back control of (at least some of) your family’s diet. You become the producer, not just the consumer. You know what you planted and what you did and did not put on it. It’s a powerful feeling and a giant step toward a healthier, more conscious lifestyle.
Because we can!
We Have Sunshine and Water
Wherever you live in Hawaii, if you have access to sunlight and water, you can grow food. Thanks to our hard-working county water supply boards, water flows directly to our homes. Thanks to our earthly coordinates, the sun shines down on us year- round, free of charge. Each of us can put these two precious gifts together to create pure life-sustaining nourishment. We can start right now.
Yards of every shape and size can grow food. If grass, landscape plants or weeds grow in your yard, food plants can, too. A skillful hand can get food growing on a high-rise lanai or even a rooftop. Knowledge and creativity are more important than acreage.
And because we must.
The people best equipped to weather an economic crisis – or any crisis – are those with the basic skills for self-sufficiency. Growing food is surely one of the most basic, as is its corollary, cooking from scratch. With food insecurity rising around the world, food gardening is not just a hobby – it’s a conscious step toward a more resilient future.
Fossil fuels power every aspect of industrial agriculture’s production, processing and distribution systems. By contrast, your fresh home garden harvest slashes the petroleum from your food chain. This ultimate act of eating local strikes a blow for Hawaii’s energy independence.
Secure Our Food Supply
Consider these two facts side by side:
1) We live on the most geographically remote island chain on Earth.
2) We import 90% of our food.
Every hurricane and tsunami warning reminds us – briefly – how perilous Hawaii’s food supply is. Seeing empty store shelves early in the pandemic drove the point home… Shouldn’t we be growing our own food?
In a word, YES. We need tens of thousands more local residents growing food, selling locally, sharing knowledge, creating self- sufficient communities.
If we’re to achieve the resilient, self- sustaining future we envision (and our politicians promise), we islanders must take back the power to feed ourselves. Every gardener can make Hawaii more food secure.
Protect Against Climate Change
Humus rich soils full of organic matter can sequester tons of carbon, quite literally, and grow the best vegetables. We reduce our carbon emissions when we don’t have to drive to the store to buy fossil fuel-dependent food.
In a changing world, the ability to grow food, to share and enjoy it, and to live in a healthy world full of beautiful gardens may be the best legacy we can leave our children and grandchildren.