(Black Press Media files)

(Black Press Media files)

LETTERS: Backyard gardens have a lot to offer

Re: LETTERS: Backyard garden veggies not the answer to food security (July 2). Mr. Rossnagel seems to think that only ‘lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers’ grow in Victoria gardens.

He seems unaware that Vancouver Island gardens and farms can grow – and many do – carbohydrate-rich foods like potatoes, root vegetables or squashes. For protein, beans; many people with a backyard raise chickens, producing protein-rich eggs and meat. For fat, sunflower seeds, walnut trees. (I’ve even seen olive trees growing in a Saanich backyard.) Heritage red fife wheat is grown on the Island and used by local bakers.

Home-grown vegetables – the four Mr. Rossnagel mentions, and others like nutrient-dense kale and the wide variety of plants that grow in B.C. – generally provide more than “taste, colour and esthetics.” Things like vitamins and minerals, hardly unnecessary. Without the dozens of pesticides used on imported and Canadian produce, without the thousands of miles and days, if not weeks, of travel, and attendant loss of nutrition.

While 100 per cent reliance on locally grown food might not be achievable for Vancouver Islanders, we could do better than the current 10 per cent.

Marie Roulleau