For those of us who have tried to plant vegetables in our gardens, it is clear that what at first seems easy often turns out to be an arduous task. In just a few days, the young fresh vegetables you’ve planted are infested with many species of insects, pests and birds.
How does this work for those whose job it is? Let’s compare what happens in the fields and in greenhouses.
Field cultivation is the traditional method of farming. To be successful, the soil must be rich in nutrients, free of disease, have a balanced pH and be of good composition. Environmental risk management is paramount to achieve the highest probability of success. Generous applications of pesticides, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides are often necessary to keep plants alive. We often hesitate to buy pesticides for our garden because we know the impact they can have on our health and the environment, but we don’t necessarily think about it when we buy vegetables at the market or order a salad from a restaurant.
Greenhouses allow you to control the environment in which your crops grow. Not only do they protect against insects and birds, but they also allow you to better control temperature, humidity, irrigation and light. You can create the right conditions for your plants to thrive, without using harmful pesticides, to ensure the sanitary quality of your vegetables. If you are considering becoming a commercial grower, by using a greenhouse, you can actually predict the expected yield and analyze the variables of plant growth.
And of course, growing fruits and vegetables in a greenhouse doesn’t mean that your garden should look like the Almeria desert with its endless landscapes of plastic greenhouses. No! You can create a small greenhouse and make your tarpaulin from polyethylene obtained from sugar cane crops.
Early April, about two weeks after the start of the quarantine measures taken all over the world, MIJARC Europe made the most of the fact that everybody was confined at home to launch its new social network campaign: Grow It Yourself.
The goal of this campaign: to offer a fun challenge, through the publication of photos on social networks, to encourage people to grow their own fruit and vegetables or herbs.
The aim, of course, is not to downplay the fantastic work done by farmers, nor is it to lead people to believe that everyone can become self-sufficient with a snap of the fingers. On the contrary, it is precisely because the theme of the year for MIJARC Europe is agriculture, that the Agri-Commission wanted to highlight one of the key elements of this subject, that is the food system, from the production of food to its arrival on our plates.
This is the reason why each post is associated with a caption or a link to an article that we publish on our website, in which we discuss topics related to these issues. These can be light-hearted topics such as tips on growing beans or a list of the easiest vegetables to grow, or even poems!
But we also try to think about more serious issues: what does the covid-19 crisis and its impact on the production, transport and sale of food say about our food system and our consumption habits? Why is it that by consuming locally, we are taking care of our health in addition to the environment? Why do we need to support young people who want to enter agriculture?
You can find our posts on our Facebook page or on our Instagram account. And above all, you can join us in this challenge! Grow yourself a tomato stand on your balcony and publish the picture by tagging MIJARC Europe. You can even send us texts about topics you would like us to talk about!
The Grow It Yourself Challenge is an experience we want to live with you!