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The Million Gardens Movement urges people to get their hands dirty, but eat cleaner5 min read

April 20, 2021 4 min read

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The Million Gardens Movement urges people to get their hands dirty, but eat cleaner5 min read

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Kimbal Musk. Credit: Rolling Stone

During this pandemic, people around the world found time to indulge in their hobbies and pastimes. And one such pastime that seemed to grow in popularity around the world was gardening. Being at home all day meant people stepped out into their gardens, balconies and terraces to give that old green thumb a little exercise.

Billionaire businessman and engineer Elon Musk’s brother also got on board, but took his passion for gardening a step further. Kimbal Musk, who also owns a chain of restuarants, started the Million Gardens Movement, or MGM. The aim is simple – get as many people as possible around the world to start gardens in their homes.

What’s MGM all about?

Simply put, the Million Gardens Movement is an online community of home gardeners, both novices and experts. At the heart of the movement is the belief that gardens can play a role in solving some of the most significant issues of our times. The goal is to provide every home with a sustainable source of food by helping them grow a garden in whatever size their living space can handle.

Big Hollywood stars such as Harrison Ford and Salma Hayek have joined the movement. Credit: MGM

Amid the pandemic, one such issue that came to light was how delicate our food supply chain is. Do you remember not having onions or other basic fresh produce for days? That’s because during a crisis such as a pandemic, the process of getting produce from the farm to our tables is affected due to number of people and steps involved. Hence, the MGM focused on helping people start their own home gardens so they could grow basic fruits and vegetables themselves! Another issue that cropped up was food insecurity, which is defined as the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money and other resources. MGM focuses helping people grow a garden is whatever space they have available.

Musk teamed up with the founder of major Hollywood studio Lionsgate Entertainment founder Frank Giustra for MGM.  You don’t need a lot of space to have your own garden. We have our little green garden tips that you can grow your starter garden on your patio or windowsill, on your fire escape. It may seem intimidating at the start, but it’s really quite easy to start a garden and we’re here to help you if you need help,” Giustra said.

For underprivileged families, the MGM will provide a beginner gardening kit to help them enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables on their own. While the kits are just available in the US for now, Musk said they will be available in Canada too soon.

In addition to resources for growing food, the MGM supplies information on how to donate that food or money to food banks.

Why growing your own produce is important?  

Knowing where your food comes from, especially when there’s a deadly virus out there, can be extremely beneficial. Here are some reasons why having your own garden can be helpful.

1. More Nutritious

When growing your own food, your diet is more healthy, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Food in its rawest, freshest form is the most nutritional. The majority of produce sold in grocery stores go through a long process of being harvested, shipped and distributed to stores. Once distributed, the produce can end up staying in storage or on the shelf for an extended period of time before being purchased, losing nutritional value.

2. Stay Active

Gardening is a fun way to get outside for some fresh air and physical activity. The physical activity required in gardening has proven to promote physical health. Involvement in gardening helps to improve cardiac health and immune system response, decrease heart rate and stress, improve fine and gross motor skills, flexibility and body strength.

3. Get Vitamin D

Gardening is a great way to absorb vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin.

4. Save Money

You can save a lot of money by growing your own vegetables and fruits. By spending a few rupees on seeds, plants and supplies, you can grow a variety of fruits and vegetables.

5. Help the environment

Transport of produce relies heavily on fossil fuels. Growing your own food would help reduce the reliance on this transportation that is harming the environment. Also, by growing your own food, you are not using chemicals or pesticides that can harm environment.

Think with Owliver

Can you think of any other reasons why gardening is good for you? We’d love to hear from you!

Sources: ctvnews.com, nycfoodpolicy.org, goodnewsnetwork.org