Food production is responsible for up to a 1/3 of the world's carbon emissions and 3/4 of the world's deforestation according to the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security. Growing your own food or buying local makes a significant impact on carbon emissions. It is estimated that buying local reduces carbon emissions due to food production by .162 lbs of carbon per pound of food in transportation alone. Growing your own food reduces your carbon impact even further and can potentially remove carbon from the atmosphere. Choosing local food has the added bonus of supporting the farms and businesses trying to make a difference right here in Orlando.
Food, Inc. is a documentary that exposes issues within the American food industry.
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Did you know you can buy a share of a local farmer's crops? It's called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). At the beginning of a growing season you can buy a share, almost like a subscription, of a farmer's crops. Then each week, you pick up your share of the harvest from the farmer. You get farm fresh veggies every week, and the farmer has a guarantee of crop sales before investing the time, money, and energy into growing the food.
Don't have a reliable way to make compost? There are several places to find affordable soil. Orange County Landfill takes the yard waste from residents' yards and turns it into free compost available to Orange County residents. Monterey Mushroom in Zellwood sells organic compost for $25 a load. Whether you have a pickup truck bed or a dump truck, it's still $25. Make sure you call (407-905-4000) beforehand to see what days and times the compost is available.
Mulching is a great way to keep moisture in the soil and protect your plants from the harsh Florida sun and dry Winter/Spring. Then when the mulch breaks down, the organic matter turns into rich soil. Did you know you can get mulch for free? Landscaping and tree services have to pay to drop off their mulch at the dump so they're happy to drop it off at your house for free. You can sign up at the websites below for a mulch delivery, contact landscaping companies directly, or flag down a truck. You never know!