I write in my header for this blog that my goal is to grow all of my family’s vegetables. I never actually figured out what amount I do grow and if I am getting better – or worse…
In my Gardening class yesterday, Roger Swain said that NE grows only about 7% of our local food and the rest we import from elsewhere. We have so much land we could use, but we don’t. He said home gardeners don’t really contribute a significant amount – and we could. In 1944, the big home food production year to allow US resources to be allocated to the war, nationwide we produced 40% of our food. And that’s not only vegetables – that’s all of our food.
Why grow our own food at home? One point Roger spoke about is that it’s better for the land. We have a lot of open untended land overgrown with invasive plants, weeds – not healthy habitat. We could use this land. sustainable gardening will improve the soils and control the invasive plants.
Another point is that it’s better for people. We get any food we want now – asparagus all year long, shipped in from who knows where. Does it taste good? How much fuel was used to transport it? How many laborers did a backbreaking job to harvest it? Traditionally people in NE ate local asparagus for breakfast, lunch and dinner, fresh from their backyard, their own variety, for 3 or 4 weeks in the spring – or until they could eat anymore of it. Then they ate lettuce and peas. A seasonal diet that made us part of the land and the seasons. Has this made us less connected to the land, less aware of or cared about environmental changes that are happening?
Well, this puts into words my feelings and my interest in growing my family’s vegetables. I have a sense that it’s better or the land, better for our health, and better for our relationship with the land.
So, lot’s of words. But I’m going to try to figure out and keep track of how much of my family
‘s vegetables I am actually growing.
To start, I’m weighing all of the vegetable items in my house now: fresh, canned, dried, and frozen. Then, in the future, I’ll weigh the amount of vegetables that we bring in to the house. I know if will change over the year. I’m probably at a peak right now with lot’s of stored potatoes, squash, canned tomatoes, etc. But I’ll go ahead and start here. By Oct 27 of next year, I’ll get a number across all the seasons.