Monday, August 20, 2012

The Liberty Garden

Too Many Reasons to Not Depend on the Grocery Store

The Liberty Garden

There are few things more satisfying than eating food nurtured by your own hand. I hope I can inspire more people to grow food where they live. The summer of 2012 well be memorable for many due to the early bloom, followed by a freeze. A prolonged drought followed by torrential rains. Many farmers had to feed livestock their winter hay supply in the hot summer months because of the dead, dry grass. In Michigan, we are expecting a 10% fruit crop (cherries, apples, peaches, etc) because of the warm-then-cold spring.Drought caused this year's corn crop to be a goner, then the rain decimated the chances of soy-based feed. The fate of these mono crops is bitter sweet to me. Partially, I am overjoyed that the cattle will be spared from this nutrition-lacking fare, however, due to a lack of foresight there aren't any other options for them and they must be slaughtered or starve.
I wish I could say that I feel sorry for our nation's poor. Corn flakes and soy infant formula are going to be expensive this year. My hope for them is that they will be forced to source more nutrient dense food. Beef liver should be readily available.
The time to take responsibility for your own sustenance is now. I urge everyone to pick a sunny spot in their yard (or someone else's yard if necessary) and make some plans to start a lasagna garden next spring. If I hear anyone complain about the price of groceries, I am prepared to ask them if they grow any of their own food. It takes some effort, but is well worth the rewards.
As I walk through my neighborhood, I'm struck buy yard after yard of lush, green lawn, despite the drought. Imagine if communities put that effort (and watering) into edible landscaping? Fruit trees are beautiful in the spring. Herbs, sweet potato and green bean vines are beautiful in the summer. In the fall, you have gorgeous heads of cabbages and blueberry bushes turn a handsome red. There are so many edible options!
My Backyard

There are many other options for feeding yourself. Over the winter, I grew lettuce under a light in my basement (so much more awesome than a bag of lettuce at the grocery store). There are also food co-ops and CSA's. They may let you trade work for food. An important aspect to remember is getting to know your neighbors. You can swap food. There may be things you can grow that your neighbor can't and vice-versa. Don't forget about things already growing in your yard like dandelions, violets, chicory, purselane, and lambsquarters. One of my kids once said, "you feed us like goats!" Bleat bleat!
Don't delay, there is a learning curve with gardening. I don't want you to wait until your life depends on it to start!
Basement Lettuce Just Starting

1 comment:

  1. I obviously don't have enough time for blog reading since I missed the whole fact that you have revived yours!! I am terribly happy about it and may have to come for some 'lessons' the next time I'm home!