How to create an urban farm in your Austin backyard

Growing health, fitness and fresh food movements are fueling the rise of urban backyard gardens across the country. As studies identify food as a primary component of disease prevention, people are turning away from commercial, processed and packaged foods, instead working fresh food into their diets. Gardening itself has physical and mental health benefits.

The biggest gardening trend of 2018 was the emphasis on food. Large sections of lawn are being cleared to make room for tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and squash. Gardeners embrace creativity by growing fruits and vegetables in increasingly smaller spaces like balconies, walls and patios. Back in fashion: companion planting and canning, key to the gardens of our grandmothers. (My husband’s canning jar collection keeps growing every year.)

Kids are also learning where their food comes from. School gardens expand science lessons by engaging students outdoors. Learning about photosynthesis back in my day would have been infinitely more fun in the sunshine getting dirt under my fingernails.

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