Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Grow your own food

Can't stomach $4 a pound for organic tomatoes at the supermarket? Maybe it's time to grow your own.

Escalating food prices are prompting more people to return to the soil this spring, according to community garden coordinators, garden centers, and merchants. Seed sales are up across the region, and organizers of community gardens report that waiting lists are expanding.

Several factors are inflating grocery prices: higher fuel costs for trucking food, a strong export market for US-grown food, weather disasters around the world, and the increasing use of products such as corn to make biofuel. As a result, growing produce has become an attractive option for some consumers, even if they have doubts about the greenness of their thumbs.

"The cost of vegetables is very expensive and the cost of everything is getting expensive," said Andrea Robichaud, who took up gardening this spring to reduce her food bills. Robichaud, 32, was awarded one of three spaces that became available at the 44-plot Bremen Street Community Garden in East Boston.

Back in my sophomore year, Mrs. McDonough put me in charge of watering her plant. I named her Audrey.

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