Have you ever seen someone with a sign advertising fresh fruits and vegetables as you’re going down the road? They’re all over the country. Or perhaps as you walk through your local grocery store you see the sign saying fresh blueberries now available. Some people can’t wait for peaches to ripen, or strawberries to be in season. A lot of work goes into growing the food that you find on your dinner table, it is not only labor intensive but in some instances also requires a green thumb. The other green thing that commercial grower have is using the power of recycling. In an effort to conserve energy and reduce waste, growers across the states are taking steps to create sustainability in their practices and use and reuse every resource they can.
From elaborate irrigation systems on acres of farmlands to the small pots that you bring home that grows into a plump tomato plant, recycling can be done during every step of the growing process. Some growers retreat and use recycled water to save that precious resource. Other growers have their machinery on timers to conserve energy and meticulously watch their produce to ensure the best products. From reusing and turning over soil, to taking clay tiles from landfills and using those to insulate the ground, commercial growers are going even greener in their actions.
Pecan growers for example go nuts about recycling. Aside from growing pecan, when their trees have soaked up all the nutrition from the ground and lose their ability to produce those tasty nuts, growers are significantly changing their methods of processing the baron trees. Pecan trees are becoming one of the best forms of potting and greenhouse materials. What once was simply chopped up and discarded is not being used to successfully fertilize orchards and greenhouse crops across the United States.
What is really awesome about recycling materials to grow fruits and such is that you can do it at home too. Some easy things you can do at home are use paper products such as newspapers, letters, junk mail and shred them, and add them to a compost bin or work it into the garden soil. Old milk jugs can be cut and altered to create garden tools, bird feeders, and plant cloches. Also you can shred or tear cereal boxes into pieces and incorporate with your existing mulch. They will break down over time while helping to suppress weeds. If you have problems with grass invading your landscape beds, bury the flat boxes under the mulch along the border of the bed. There is so much that commercial growers do to reuse everything they can, and so can you. The next time you see the fresh fruit signs on the side of the road, smile and know that they are helping the environment by recycling, one product at a time.