Gardening With Purpose

It’s time to start some seeds.

We still don’t have a great place to garden but it is improving each season.  Pesky critters were quite a problem last year so we are working to improve this as well as the poor clay soil at the new house.

This plot might seem too ambitious but, if you shop wisely for seed in bulk, even a low-yield from a garden this large would really supplement the family needs.  Small packets from the hardware store really add up to high cost so I suggest ordering directly from some of the larger seed companies; it’s easy and fun to shop the catalogs.  They are generous with coupons and discounts for small-timers like us so, if you are considering a garden at all, I suggest singing up.  Here are the two I have used for years.

It’s Food for Thought

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. you haven’t grown your own food, or you haven’t in a while, consider making this your year for better food.

Victory Gardens

Springtime is just around the corner.  Now that we’re in a more hospitable growing environment, I feel obligated to get a better garden growing.  Of course, it is some work but the payoff, even for a small garden more than justifies the effort.

It’s always a good time to grow food.

In times of crisis, it is wise to have a bit laid aside.  Try canning and preserving if you have never done so.  It’s easy and rewarding throughout the year.