One of the biggest shocks to my system when moving to rural CT is that RECYCLING isn't common practice or mandated/promoted by the State. It's completely bizarre. Luckily, in the past year and a half, our community has embraced plastic recycling which is a relief but we still have miles to go with cardboard and compost. We have a regional transfer station that's about 15 minutes from our place but no regular scheduled recycling pick-up. I miss my green box, my blue box and my 1 bag of garbage a week standards??
REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT--->
With our lack of recycling causing me much frustration my fantastic husband decided that in addition to trying our best to recycle as much as possible (and as many ways as possible), we'd also try our hand at buying less "high-travelled" and more "completely organic" products--not just those labeled as such in the grocery store. With that, came our backyard garden. I know we don't carry the label of full-scale 'Farm-to-Table' but we're trying a small pilot project-->'Garden-To-Table' as our nod to a movement that we hope is catching on.
- Establishing and promoting the purchase of local produce-->ranchers, farmers, artisans, etc. to minimize fuel use/carbon footprint and environmental decay.
- Farmers going "beyond organic" to bring us fresh and seasonal produce without the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers
- Ranchers raising their cattle, lamb and pigs naturally on pastures as opposed to confining them to factory pens.
- Local restaurateurs incorporating market-based and seasonal foods into their menus.
- Local grocers bridging the gap between customers and producers (cutting out the middle men)
- The average bear/person eating more naturally--sans over-processed and processed foods, preservatives, middle-aisle shopping, etc.
OUR GARDEN-TO-TABLE MINI-MOVEMENT--->
So I know our garden is a stretch but it's our tiny attempt at playing a role in this movement while our town tries to catch up. Andrew planted in early May and we were nervous that nothing would grow. 1 1/2 months later, we've got cucumbers, peppers, rhubarb, peppercinis, blueberries, broccoli and lettuce. Now, I have to plug lettuce. If you're thinking of starting a little garden in your own backyard, I definitely advocate for lettuce. What a waste of money at the grocery store and, I can't remember the last time I ate a full head of romaine before it went bad. Now that we've got our own, I can walk outside, grab a few leaves and voila! We're all set.
Your local garden center can offer tons of tips on best practice so I would recommend asking as many questions as possible, as we did, when you start out.