On March 2, Guahan Sustainable Culture will conduct its first workshop –Grow Your Own Micro-Greens. What does growing microgreens have to do with sustainability? It’s a “small” beginning to a much larger undertaking – growing our own food contributes to sustaining our environment for future generations. There are also other benefits to growing our own food – it is healthier, tastier, cheaper, and fun!
Have you ever wondered where your salad greens have been before they arrived at your dinner table? When I thought about writing this article I decided to trace where my salad greens that I just had for dinner came from. I looked at the plastic package that they came in and the label was stamped Made in the USA/Mexico. Salad greens had travelled almost 6,000 miles – from the West Coast to Guam. The package also indicated that the greens were harvested on 12th and I had purchased them on the 23rd – the day after they arrived according to the employee at the produce section at the market.
Imported vegetables and fruits were harvested from the fields, triple washed, packaged, placed in a refrigerated truck for the airport, flown to Hawaii then to Guam, then again trucked to the local market. It took at least 11 days from the fields to my dining table. Imagine the amount of resources expended for my dinner.
I propose a sustainable option – let’s grow our own food. By doing so, we can help conserve the earth’s non-renewable resources. Fossil fuel such as coal, oil and natural gas, is needed for the equipment to plant, harvest, and package the greens in plastic containers. Fossil fuel is also used to transport them in refrigerated trucks and airplanes.
When we grow our own food, we can harvest right from our garden. They are at their freshest and retain most of their nutrients. Studies show that salad greens begin to lose their nutrients soon after they are harvested. There is no comparison in the amount of nutrients from greens harvested immediately compared to one that had travelled at least 11 days before being consumed. They are also fuller in flavor because they are harvested at their peak as compared to being picked earlier to be able to make the long trip from the fields to the market.
Another benefit to growing our own food is that it costs significantly less to cultivate in a home garden. This may be just the cost of the seeds or seedlings and can be only few dollars and will yield an abundant harvest throughout the growing season.
Gardening to grow our own food can also be a form of exercise, relaxation and enjoyment.
Growing our own food promotes a healthier planet and a healthier lifestyle. If you have never grown your own food, why not start small with micro-greens and help sustain our environment? Join us for our workshop- Grow Your Own Micro-Greens!
-Marlyn Oberiano, VP / Treasurer for Guahan Sustainable Culture