Urban Gardenin’

It’s no secret that fast food restaurants sit on most every street corner and prepackaged foods can be found in almost every aisle of the grocery stores. With options like this, oftentimes people will make a choice that may not be as healthy as it could or should be. An urban gardening movement is changing that mentality, though, and it’s taking root here in the South. 

It’s not a trend or a modern-day fad. Here in the South, urban gardening has become a way of life for many people who recognize the positive effects growing food can have on a community. In Savannah, a city known for its love of food, people are wrapped up in local food and farmers’ markets. They are also drawn to the romantic notion of eating something they harvested. 

“A lot of people are interested in the idea of growing their own food and using property for food-growing purposes or raising animals such as chickens,” says Kerry Shay, co-owner, Victory Gardens. “People want to know where their food is coming from and where it’s produced. There’s no better way of knowing that if you grow it yourself.” Savannah’s climate is ideal for urban gardening. With mild temperatures pretty much year-round, you can typically grow vegetables, fruits and plants during any season. 

Victory Gardens recognizes the need for an educational component to urban gardening. When the company first started nearly five years ago, they noticed people wanted to grow their own gardens, they just didn’t know how. The company offers free gardening classes the first and third Saturday of the month at the Trustees’ Garden. Their range of topics is broad with a core focus on the best organic practices for human and environmental health. They also work with public and private schools to provide gardening education for students. 

Raised-bed gardens are very popular for urban gardeners in Savannah. It’s a space-conscious way to have a contained garden that is easy to maintain and fill with nutrient-rich soil. Raised beds allow for a bunch of healthy plants in a small space. You can grow things like lettuce, arugula, kale, collards, tomatoes, and herbs; basically any vegetables that aren’t field crops. You can mix and match edible and non-edible plants. Victory Gardens says in a smaller garden, they like to choose plants that maximize the space and the yield. They offer two stock-size raised-beds gardens to customers: a 4 x 8 raised-bed garden, which is the standard size, and a slightly larger one that is 4-by-12.

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