Americans were pulled away from producing their own food after WWII. Can we get back to doing so? I know we can, because… Americans. Never mind that corporate-owned media aka MSM says we are worthless, lazy, stupid, etc. We are not worthless and neither are our American brethren.
Americans gave up growing their own food; however, other countries did not and about 2 billion people worldwide are supported by small farms 50 acres or less. There are nearly 1 billion “subsistence” farmers who grow enough to feed their own families.
I know you’ve seen television programs crying over their poor life, but I gotta tell you they are not the ones who would starve if corporate monoculture and its billion mile supply lines keeled over dead tomorrow.
Grow your own food and you won’t feel the need to run in packs all over the country shooting people down for today’s harvest (harvests are slim some days so guns may not be that productive in the off season). It is a matter of numbers: every person who stays home to garden is one less person out ransacking others. Encourage a gardener today.
So who is staying home to garden in the US? Since our global financial meltdown in 2009, the number of home vegetable gardens has doubled. That includes poor people, folks. The group with the biggest increase was millenials. Most of us do want to survive this mess. On food stamps? You can now buy vegetable and fruiting plants with your food stamps. Need a pot? Craigslist has free ones and my thrift store practically gives them away.
So what is a guestimate of home gardens in the US today? A whopping 45 million households. That means we only need to feed an average of 7 people per existing garden. Many of those 7 people are children and the elderly so cut them some slack. The term “gardens” does not include all the small farms popping up all over this country, including the latest in “urban” farms.
Are we at risk of starving to death? Maybe, but I believe in Americans and the numbers prove me out. We have enough warning to make necessary shifts and so we are.
We are taking food security back under our own control because we have watched our government join hands with corporations and outsource our jobs and our food supply. What the smell? Hmmmm the odor of corruption and filth. I haven’t taken on feeding seven people. Yet. I would have to focus on annuals until my trees and shrubs started bearing heavily.
Remember that in 1940 England was importing most of its food, yet they stepped up and fed their people. The more produced locally, the more circular our economy.
What are some of the results of growing our food? WalMart, which has put one million employees on food stamps, is now crying that they are losing money because Americans can no longer “afford” to eat. They will shut down in the next couple years because their decision to chase after the 20 percent is foolish. What is happening to their customers? They are cutting out corporate monoculture, long supply lines, poisons, GMOs, and Walmart, et al. And many of the 20% have their own gardens.
Buy Local is morphing into Grow Your Own. Let’s add Swap and Barter. I know my mom swapped eggs for milk. I have swapped vegetables for Texas beef. My friend swapped labor for eggs. Grow something and see what you can trade… just to open the conversation.
Why help neophyte gardeners? Every new gardener adds another link to your local food secirity. Every new gardener may grow something you did not and might trade with you. How to do it?
Encouragement always. Tell them to start small. Emphasize perennials like asparagus, rhubarb, blackberries and raspberries. Plant a fruit tree or shrub. Share seeds. I grow trees and shrubs from seed and give them away. I grow wild edibles like currants, wild roses, wild violets, amaranth, for my Food Forest and give small starts or seeds to new gardeners. I start my own vegetables inside due to a short season, then I give away some of those starts come spring. Other than natives, some of the easiest vegetables to grow are beans, corn, squash, onions, potatoes, radishes, and herbs. Buy heirloom varieties so you can save seed.
Some plants you may already have like Redbud has edible beans much like lentils but heavy production and you can grow other vegetables underneath it’s lacey foliage. Acorns can be leached to remove the tannin and eaten, be glad if you have a large oak tree. I have put acorns outside in the winter rains for leaching. Don’t destroy plants before finding out if they have food value.
Mulch and compost are the best soil amendments and return nutrients to the soil, improve texture, and increase eater retention. If others are bagging their leaves for disposal, ask nicely for them. Most people are delighted to find a good home for them.