Grow Something

On the acreage of my family home in Indiana, we always had gardens. From time to time, I enjoyed tomatoes, carrots, beets, raspberries, strawberries, and the bounty of several apple and pear trees. We had a corn field on three sides of us from which the farmers were happy to share a couple ears. In addition, our pond boasts a rich supply of fish, frogs, and turtles (although the huge tilapia, cruising like sharks along the top of the water, do intimidate the dogs).

Recently, Red State Green wrote an article asking people simply, “Can you feed yourself?” The author examines our dependence on the supermarket and praises the practice of “Victory Gardens” during WWII when people grew their own food so farmers could contribute directly to the war effort. While the breakdown of the chain of food production in a national crisis is indeed worrisome, I always find discussions of small-scale agriculture interesting.

As always, the hostility (just read some of the comments) directed at such discussions is frankly staggering. How can learning to garden, keep chickens, and overall grow food for yourself inspire such anger? Do people fear the breakdown of convenience food? I certainly don’t believe this is going to happen, but there is nothing wrong with people diversifying the food choices they make. Perhaps if more people spent time growing fruits and vegetables in their backyards or in community gardens for city-dwellers, we could work on that rampant obesity issue in America.

I whole-heartedly support learning how to grow your own food, and even how to store and germinate your own seeds. From the foodie argument, you’ll have the freshest ingredients. From the sustainable argument, you’ll reduce your negative environmental impact by not contributing “food miles.” From my own personal argument, there’s just something beautiful, even magical, about watching things grow and knowing you had a hand in that.

-Caley, hoping you didn’t throw up from that last statement, and that instead, you’ll enjoy some seasonal strawberries with cream

  • Caley

    Oh! Check out this wonderful article from the Elementary Chef with tips on HOW to grow your own food.

  • Caley

    And, Treehugger complies some great resources for growing items anywhere, even on your desk at work.

  • Caley

    Am I going overboard yet? Tough!

    Don’t forget to compost. Check the comments; even city dwellers can contribute to community composting efforts.

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