Most people are fairly unimaginative when it comes to thinking of a use for the extra land around their home. They might grow a lawn on it so it will look nice to their neighbors or give the kids a place to play. They might grow some shrubs and flowers as a hobby to give the home a little character. But there's a much more useful purpose your land can be bent to, even if you live in the city - growing food. Read on to learn more about how to do so and why it might be a good idea.
You might be thinking: why would I grow ugly fruits and vegetables in my garden when I can have something nice like flowers or topiaries that would increase the resale value of my property? This might seem like you're taking the long view on the subject, but actually you're not. The long view is that the Earth's climate is changing and is already affecting the growing of crops in many places. Anything you can do to reduce your dependence on imported food will stand you in good stead for the future.
Growing your own food is easy once you get the hang of it. The first thing you'll need to do is to find out what types of food are naturally suited to grow around homes in the Hudson Valley. You can look at local exports and cash crops for inspiration or ask at the feed or gardening store you frequent. Take care also to choose foods you, your family, fiends, and neighbors will eat, as the goal here is not to take your produce to market but serve it at your dinner table.
If you choose appropriate plants, they will require a minimum of care. Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, zucchini, carrots, squashes, and berries are all good choices for the first time grower. You can even buy some soaker hoses and automatic waterers and then all you'll need to do is keep an eye out for weeds, insects, and animals who might damage your crops. Whether or not to use chemical insecticides is something you'll have to decide for yourself.
For those who are worried about the aesthetics of their yard, you can always use the back yard only for growing food and put some nice trees and flowers in the front where people will see. Alternatively, you can choose to grow foods that look nice. Cherry trees, for example, have beautiful blossoms.
If growing food does not interest you and you would rather your property boasts a well manicured and maintained lawn or hardscaping, you should seek the services of a professional landscape company. (please see here for more information)