Over the past decade plus, I have had the opportunity to travel outside the U.S. and witness life in villages that have very limited access to food. Most of their food comes from their backyard gardens, or their local outdoor markets. They have food for the current day only and don’t have freezers or fully stocked pantries. Through these experiences, I have gained a great appreciation for the access to food that we Americans have each and every day. Can you imagine living life without the local grocery store or food shelf? What would be on our tables for dinner? Anything?
In light of the current world situation with coronavirus, we remember the “Victory Gardens” people planted during WW I and WW II. Check out this interesting article to learn more: https://www.history.com/news/
With grocery stores feeling more bare lately, have you ever considered having a self-sustaining garden for your family? And, providing high-quality food for your family year-round? It will take some planning on your part, but it is doable. Here are some practical steps.
First, establish what your goals are for growing your own food. One of my goals each year is to grow enough tomatoes for canning tomato sauce, tomato juice and salsa to get us through an entire year. Sad to say, I am already out of salsa, and it is only the beginning of March. Another goal of mine is to grow enough onions to get us through the winter months (I am doing okay with my onions – I still have a big bag in storage). If your family enjoys beets, plan on freezing enough beets to include them once a week in your menu plan,
or freeze enough green beans to enjoy weekly.
Or, grow enough cabbages to make several quarts of sauerkraut for your family.
One step that I encourage you to do, is to keep good records from the previous year. For example, I ran out of salsa this year. I know now that I need to double the quantity of salsa next year to ensure I have enough to last a year. That probably means I need to plant more tomato plants.
This idea of a self-sustaining garden is not to overwhelm you, but to have you think about your food sources. In America we rely heavily on others to produce our food. I want to encourage each of you to develop, what I believe is a life skill, of gardening and cooking. To help you get started, check out our book “Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World”® where we walk you through the steps of growing, preserving and preparing real, whole food for your family. Our desire is for you to find success in this journey. Start small and build gradually toward having a self-sustaining garden for your family.
Here is a great website that can help give you an estimate of how many plants you’ll need to grow for your size family. https://morningchores.com/vegetable-garden-size/ Try it out! It’s fun to enter in the size of family and interesting to see numbers of plants it says.
Make sure to check out our Vegetable Garden Plans. We’ve done the planning work for you if you’re looking for a place to get started with gardening.
As I close out this blog post, I can’t help but to think of my mom, my mother-in-law and my grandmas, and all the gardening and preserving they did through the years. They worked hard at making sure there was good food on the table. Thank you for all that I learned from each of you!