Staying at home gives us the opportunity to go back to nature, to grow our own food in a healthier way – to invest time and effort in a kitchen garden. This is done by using the same techniques that the Maya have used for generations in their allotments, leaving us with lessons in agriculture we can apply at home.
Whether it’s a small space in your backyard, or by using pots or grow tables; we can all begin to plant and grow our own food: chemical-free, fresh, and organic. A kitchen garden is relatively easy to start, is healthy and sustainable for the whole family, and will allow you to have a natural pharmacy at hand that contributes to the environment.
Time to get your hands dirty! You’ll need a space that has soil, water, sunlight, and that you can nourish and water regularly. You can sow seeds in different ways. This can be done directly in the ground (if you’re lucky enough to have a large piece of land with plenty of soil or a garden that gets lots of sunlight but is also protected from the wind), or if you have a smaller space, you can use pots, wooden drawers, bottles, buckets, tetra-pack containers, or even build a tiered grow table.
In this space, you’ll be able to cultivate herbs, medicinal fruits, and vegetables, depending on what growing technique you choose. Because of the characteristics of Yucatán’s soil, you can combine lettuce with flowers, cilantro, celery, and more. You can purchase the necessary seeds, larvae, compost, and soil at kitchen garden collectives.
You can plant by directly placing the seeds in the same piece of land you’re going to grow them in, or by transplanting (making nurseries that will later be planted in the ground, using eggshells as planters for example).
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the moon cycle for best results! It is recommended that you plant produce that grows above ground between the crescent moon and the new moon. For plants that grow underground, the best time to sow your seeds is between the last quarter and the new moon.
Are you up for starting your own kitchen garden?
FB: Colectivo Milpa
Editorial por Violeta H. Cantarell
“Meridana,” traveler, animal lover, passionate reader, commentator, and enthusiastic promoter of the natural and human beauty of Yucatán.
Photography by Ingridth Leon for its use in Yucatán Today
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