GARDENER’S HANDBOOK: FROM A to Z IMPORTANCE OF HOME FOOD PRODUCTIONWhen you have access to your own garden where you generate your crops from, you are certain that these crops are from the right source. Home food production is quite the safest means of getting raw food to cook or fruits to eat. This is because you are in charge of the production process, and you do not have doubts about the nutritional values of the food. This replaces your previous routine of purchasing food at your local market—you are able to save money, and expenses on food are reduced. You also have the opportunity to choose from a range of food to eat. Therefore, you have access to all the nutritious classes of food such as tubers, fruits, crops, vegetables, legumes and many others. However, you will need to have the required knowledge for producing such food in your residential garden. You would need to learn the basics of planting, what to avoid as soon as the seeds begin to germinate and the various pesticides to use while developing your plant. As soon as you get the requirements for home food production, it gives you the opportunity to produce food for commercial purposes, and this generates income for you and your family. Neighbours would love to patronize your new found business; also, they would appreciate the nearby garden where they can choose from a variety of food products. CHAPTER 1: PLANNING OF A GARDEN Before you consider establishing your garden, you will need to start planning with figures and measurements. You are the architect of your garden, so in this chapter, you will know how much space is needed for your garden, the row width of crops, the best position for your garden and how much space is needed between crops. The first thing to consider is the position of your garden, which would have to be near the house. It is more convenient and safer for you to produce crops near the house for adequate attention to be given to the plants. You will need about 300-500 square feet for your garden, so ensure that the space is not too large. Also, the crop bed should not be dug from your existing soil. You should have an additional soil to lay on the space you want to use for your garden so it can be raised. For certain plants like small vegetables, they could be kept in garden pots. After you must have considered the space of the garden, the crop proportion should be looked into. The space between small crops should be about 18 to 36 inches, and this ensures that plants get enough carbon dioxide during the day for photosynthesis and enough oxygen at night. For the larger plants such as fruits (i.e. papaya, banana) and vegetables (i.e. pumpkin), there is the need for a larger space between them. The space could be about 59 to 71 inches apart. This ensures proper positioning of your plants and discourages tangling of leaves and stems.