There are so many good reasons to have a home garden, even in the city.
Starting fresh in a new place means we’re in for some work this spring. Although I suspect that many things have grown in this yard in the last century, other than the small plot I turned over last year, we have mostly lawn. Even our lame little herb and tomato plot yielded some great results. Our worst pests are definitely squirrels, with birds and raccoons running a close second. The seed catalogs are in, orders are being placed soon, and preparations are ready to begin.
With the risk of sounding like a nonconformist, I really feel that every creative act minimalizes our interaction in a consumer economy, is a small personal victory. Our war is a personal one now. Planting food, mending clothes, buying local (or not buying at all) is a triumph of the will. Knowing where our food comes from is a good beginning on a path to a better life.
For many Americans, simply planning and making a great meal from scratch feels like a success; and it is. It just takes small steps and eventually, these skills and habits become second nature. Your food is better, your health will improve, and you will have an invaluable skill. Teach your children well.
And finally, food preservation is the next logical step. With refrigeration as the norm in the industrial world, we should take a little time to ponder what happens when the power goes out. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, or acts of terrorism are all very real things, even if we don’t feel them every day. There is a thin line of convenience that can be quickly swept away and a little preparedness goes a long way. One great start is the Ball Canning Jar Company’s Blue Book. It has been around for over 100 years and has helped people preserve food without much experience and at a low cost. Even though there some initial monetary outlay, remember that most everything is re-usable.
A good reference like this keeps you healthy and safe. The modern, up-to-date version is readily available at nearly any retailer who sells cookbooks.
If you haven’t grown your own food, or you haven’t in a while, consider making this your year for better food.