Story & Photo by Krista Nadeau
One of the keys to good health is good food. The question is whether we have access to this good food—most will say they do if they eat vegetables and fruits. But our food is not the same nutritionally as it was even a decade ago. By the time we, the consumer, buy our produce at a local store, it has traveled a great distance. Many people trade cost for value, especially with how much is spent on food these days.
Around our country and the world people and communities are turning to foodscaping. In short, foodscaping is creating edible landscapes—a cross between farming and landscaping. To be healthier, people are looking to reconnect with where food comes from. Not only does homegrown food taste better, it is more nutritious, and there is a world of difference between being fed and being nourished.
Maine takes part in foodscaping. Maine Foodscapes is a non-profit organization working to promote healthy eaters in Maine. The group partners with Garbage to Garden, a composting program ensuring that there is access to “nutrient-rich and chemical-free medium necessary to grow fresh vegetables at home. Healthy food begins with healthy soil.” Crops grown for mass distribution are often treated with chemicals for bug resistance; some are modified so the produce is bigger, and the soil, which is an important part of the nutrition of produce, has been stripped due in “part to unsustainable agricultural practices; and long-term climatic changes.”
Several programs including cooking and gardening classes, wellness workshops, foodscape design and installation classes, and other programs can be found at http://www.mainefoodscapes.org. The Foodscape Garden Project’s goal is to supply gardening resources to Maine residents facing food insecurity. Everybody should have access to local, nutritious food. “Foodscapes Garden Project (FGP) recipients benefit from the program through the following materials and services:
- Three 4′ x 8′ raised bed gardens, a 100 square foot in-ground bed, OR 3 container gardens:
- Soil and compost;
- Wide selection of seeds and end of season cover crop.
Besides the benefits of healthy, nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits for everyone, foodscaping invites people to be good stewards of the ecosystem. The environment we live in should matter to all of us, as should ensuring healthy lives for future generations. It can start right here, right now. “As a result, we promote a healthier, more resilient, and equitable community for all.”