It’s that time of year when many are preparing and planting their summer gardens. In my talk today with Chris McLaughlin, author of The Good Garden, we discuss some of the basics of growing your own food in a way that not only can nurture you and your family but the inherent joy it can offer. For McLaughlin, it’s about growing the healthiest, most scrumptious fruits and veggies possible, but it’s also about giving back. How can your little patch of Earth become a sanctuary for threatened wildlife, sequester carbon, and nurture native plants?
Food security has certainly been a topic on many people’s minds these days with shortages and the rising cost of food in our grocery stores. In The Good Garden, McLaughlin discusses this and the value of growing your own food and creating community in a way that supports the ecosystem.
The Good Garden, How to Nurture Pollinators, Soil, Native Wildlife, and Healthy Food–All in Your Own Backyard, is a book for the average backyard gardener, even though McLaughlin offers resources for those who want to dig deeper into subjects like Permaculture (check out Food Integrity Now’s interview about permaculture) or Biodynamic farming. It’s an easy read, and more importantly, a resource for you as you pick and choose what works for you in your garden. It is comprehensive yet simple to follow — so that the reader is not overwhelmed by the need to do everything. She explains that doing everything “right” or “perfect” is not what gardening is all about. It is about creating nutrient-dense food for your family or your community and working with the ecosystem in a positive way that honors the land, the insects, the animals, the humans, the soil, and ultimately your health.
We discussed starting a Neighborhood Food Network and the many benefits of doing this. We also talked about some common issues you may face in your garden and what you can do about those challenges in a way that supports not only your garden but the ecosystem.
I learned about French Intensive Gardening which is interesting and somewhat counterintuitive to what we may have learned by reading our seed packets and how it can be a beneficial use of space for certain plants and climates.
The Good Garden may help you get motivated to grow food, even if you live in a condo or apartment, as it offers tips and solutions so that almost everyone can grow some food. It is empowering to grow food and should be a fun and rewarding process and McLaughlin shares how this is all possible! Enjoy this wonderful book and interview, by clicking on the link below. Happy planting and growing!