by SNEB member Ellen Schuster, MS
To celebrate, let’s look at growing food – costs (in light of ever rising food prices), health benefits, using SNAP to buy seeds/edible plants, the deep meaning growing food has for many people.
Costs/benefits: Is gardening cheaper than buying fruits and vegetables? includes initial/on-going costs and the most cost-effective edible things to grow (https://lifehacker.com/is-gardening-really-cheaper-than-buying-fruits-and-vege-1848698827). Costs and benefits of vegetable gardening (University of Florida 10 pp. 2021 publication – https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/FE1092). Unexpected health benefits of gardening, Jennifer Shukaitis, MPH (FCHS educator) March 31, 2021 online event – Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Extension Station, archived recording (https://njaes.rutgers.edu/wellness-wednesdays/archive.php?2021-03-the-unexpected-health-benefits-of-gardening) and related gardening resources.
USING SNAP TO BUY SEEDS AND EDIBLE PLANTS
Using SNAP benefits: Learn the rules (https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2011/07/06/using-snap-benefits-grow-your-own-food); find a retailer that accepts SNAP to buy seeds (https://www.snapgardens.org/snap-participant/). SNAP online gardening resources (https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-education/nutrition-education-materials/gardening); more about buying seeds at retailers (https://lowincomerelief.com/where-to-buy-plants-with-your-ebt-card/); SNAP gardens – toolkit for farmers and commercial growers (https://www.snapgardens.org/farmers-commercial-growers/); for some, gardening starts with SNAP (https://thecounter.org/gardening-snap-benefits-food-stamps-washington/).
RESOURCES – EXTENSION, CULTURAL ASPECTS
Extension/Extension Master Gardeners/other resources: What is Extension/enter your zip code to find your local Extension office (https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/info/what-is-extension-service.htm); find a Master Gardener program in your state (https://ahsgardening.org/gardening-resources/master-gardeners/) and (https://mastergardener.extension.org/). National Gardening Association (https://garden.org/). During COVID North Carolina Cooperative Extension local offices worked with partners to distribute seed packets (https://localfood.ces.ncsu.edu/local-food-farm-to-school/covidseedsharing/).
Growing food and culture: University of California Master Gardeners share 5 Asian veggies they grew (https://acmg.ucanr.edu/Growing_Your_Own_Food/Five_Asian_Vegetables_to_Try_in_Your_Garden/); 10 traditional Native American gardening techniques (https://www.almanac.com/native-american-gardening-techniques); reclaiming Mexican culture by recognizing the crops at its core (https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/dining/2022/03/25/phoenix-vegan-vegetarian-mexican-food/6395133001/); blacks are redefining their relationship to the land by farming and gardening (https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2020/08/05/black-americans-reconnecting-roots-by-gardening-farming-land/5405740002/); farming while black – Soul Fire Farm (https://www.soulfirefarm.org/media/farming-while-black/).