Why is home grown food important? Why is growing food at home something that – for us – should be embraced in every household? The answer is complex and involves a number of factors. Nutrition, eating better, fresher, and healthy, it’s understanding to respect the food we put into our bodies and where it comes from. It’s taking an active part in that process, its also sustainability and decreasing our carbon footprints – just imagine the hundreds if not thousands of miles it took your “fresh” baby kale to travel to your supermarket, the plastic container it came in, it’s production and carbon output.
The point I’m trying to make here is, the agricultural supply chain is inherently more complex than how we perceive it most of the time.There are numerous elements we often forget to apply when considering our own eating habits. Additionally it allows a means for people to get the freshest greens and in turn nutrients available on their kitchen table with little to no work. Recently, a University of California, Davis study showed that vegetables can lose 15 to 55 percent of vitamin C, for instance, within a week. Spinach can lose 90 percent within the first 24 hours after harvest (see chart on page 4).Now what if that same spinach was picked fresh in your kitchen in February and tossed into a salad? That’s what we’re trying to accomplish here – in part.
The other reason grown home food is important has to do with the economics of it. I started producing greens and veggies for my own consumption not too long ago. It started from a love for houseplants, and soon became – can I grown my own food? The short answer was yes. But what I soon realized is that growing things at home can save you cold hard cash if done right.
Breaking down the economics of home grown food.
Our weekly vegetable buy here in Brooklyn NY was around ~$100, this included, cardboard-like tomato, cucumbers, a lot of fresh kale, spinach, chives (ok these are like $0.99), lemons, onions, etc… During the during the growing season I’d get weekly tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, greens, herbs from our family homestead upstate in the lower Hudson valley (zones 6b / 7a – ish). This brought my weekly veggie purchases to ~20 bucks, and stopped me from buying tomatoes for sauce, or picked cucumbers.
Doing some simple math I figured that ff I could sustain that year round, I’d be saving ~ $4k, I’d be eating better, and I would be decreasing my carbon footprint. Remember that those organic veggies still have to be transported somehow, workers have to get to the farm in cars, buses, and you’re most likely buying them in some form of plastic container or bag. Now, $4k/year isn’t a hell of a lot of money for an executive. But for a family making $40, $60, $80k with a kid or two, that same 4k makes a hell of a difference. So The question was.
“How can we give folks a easy, accessible, healthy, fun, medium to grow some of their food, year round round, indoors.”
The answer is still, I don’t know. There are a handful of products on the market that I want to test like the Hamama Greens grow kit we just wrote about, and I’ve got a Click & Grow Smart Garden 9 scheduled for delivery tomorrow with plant capsules. There’s also a few contraption-esque indoor gardens that I may simply skil altogether due to their somewhat completely asinine designs, and then there’s arguably the best selling product on the market, the MiracleGro Aero Garden from Scotts (a $2.8bn in annual revenue company who distributes Monsanto’s roundup, destroys peat bogs, and doesn’t much care for EPA accords) which I’ll try and get my hands on 2nd market. But are these products good enough? Maybe? Do they save people money? We’ll see. Or are these just hobby devices?
For us at Greener Pods though, it’s about finding a way to enable everyone to grow at home and get good nutritious greens on the table year round, effortlessly and economically. The concept will evolve in the future, and we want you to be involved with it.