Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I know that many a holiday reveller this weekend gladly rejoiced in the lack of rain, but I, the gardener, whose winter supply of veg depends on the success (or failure) of my garden, was thrilled when the darkened sky and rumbling thunder actually produced some rain last night and this morning.

It is so easy to just go to the store and purchase what we need/want. Well, for most of us here in the US it is easy. Some of us have to plan a bit further in advance, since the store is many miles away. But still, when we produce our own food, we appreciate it all the more. And we appreciate what goes into making it happen.

Too often I hear people moan about the cost of food. But let's look at the real cost - the cost that may not be reflected in your 50 cents/pound peas, or your $1/pound beef. Is your food subsidized by the government? Does it come from half way around the world? Was it picked by migrant workers who get little pay and no benefits? Was its production detrimental to the soil in which it grew (eg: potatoes that are grown in soil that is first completely sterilized - poisoned - by herb- and pesticides)? Were the animals raised and slaughtered humanely, including fed food that is appropriate for their digestive systems (eg: did you know that factory farmed cattle are often fed on ground up parts of their fellow cattle? This is one reason why they are pumped full of antibiotics, because they are so sick from having to eat "meat" with a digestive system designed only to consume plant material.)?

Yes, I pay $50/month for 10 pounds of meat - but it is raised locally and humanely. Grassfed. Hormone free. And only travels a couple hours to reach me.

Yes, I buy my eggs locally. My egg lady is wonderful - $2/dozen for terrific eggs. Most other egg folks sell their homegrown eggs for at least $3/doz. - I've even seen them go for over $4! Sure, $2 is still more than the grocery store eggs, but my eggs are from happy roaming chickens and have a flavor you can't find in any store-bought carton.

And yes, I grow my own veg as much as possible. It is the right thing to do. I know what goes into my produce and I know that the greatest distance it travelled was from my yard to my kitchen (unless you count the seeds, which in truth did travel some distance to get here).

There is a growing movement to eat more local food, and I fully agree with and support this notion. I also think everyone should grow his/her own veg. And not just a couple tomatoes in a window box. We would be a healthier nation as a whole if we all put a little more effort into the basics of life.

No comments: