Thursday, February 3, 2011

Food prices at record levels? Plant a garden!

Today Reuters ran a story about food prices being at record levels and the likelihood that they will remain this way for months to come. With that in mind I strongly encourage you to do something about it.

Plant vegetables.

Any little bit will help. Growing your own food is an important step towards reducing the impact of market prices on your pocketbook. It is good for you in more ways than just controlling what you eat, there is physical exercise, increased well being just from being outdoors, and the emotional lift when you eat what you grew. For those with children it is also an excellent teaching tool. Putting seed to soil, and reaping the harvest is, in my opinion, part of personal responsibility.

I feel we owe it to ourselves to become more self reliant, to reconnect with the earth, and to in some small way throw off the shackles of eating food we have no connection with. Over the last year I've had a change of heart about most of these issues. If you follow this blog, you've been able to watch the installation of a food plot, followed the progress of the summer growth, and shared in wonderful produce harvests. Over at my food blog, I've cooked it up fresh, as well as put some up for later use. My family and I are enjoying the fruits of that hard yet enjoyable toil through these cold winter months. 

Years ago families grew food because they had to, and some people still do for the same reason. But I am aware from following other blogs, and some interesting pages on Facebook, that more and more folks are growing food not because they need to, but rather because they want to. They feel, as I do, that it is the right thing to do, for health, for monetary savings, for a small sense of control in this increasingly uncertain time.

You don't need a large yard to get started, excellent results can be had using 5 gallon buckets as planters. A sunny balcony, a flat roof top, even a driveway can be utilized for personal food production.

You can do it! I will keep sharing my journey, the successes and lessons learned, techniques and tips. Many of you will share yours too. I look forward to it.

Until next time, Keep Digging & Eat Well!

The Gastronomic Gardener
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  1. Interesting post. Sadly not only food prices are up but seedlings and seeds as well.

  2. I agree with all you wrote!
    As important as growing your own food is saving your own seeds. Hundred years ago there were no seed companies - people saved their own seed. Seed buying is a thing of a modern age that is not that necessary, but it is a part of today's shoppingholic society.

  3. M-K girl. You're right, seed and seedlings are going up. Choose heirloom variaties and start saving seeds. Plant intensively and carefully to conserve seeds, the less you have to thin, the fewer seeds you waste.

  4. Ana - Thanks for stopping by! Your comment is a good one, and I have to admit I need to do more in that regard. However, if I compare the price of a pack of seeds versus the price of the fresh vegetables that even a single seed can produce. Seed packets are a good bargain. That said, using heirloom varieties and saving seeds is another step towards self reliance.

  5. We haven't really had many increases in food prices here, just the gas prices that just keep creeping up there, but that doesn't mean they won't go up. Either way, I like having my garden.

  6. Just came across your blog-nice post! It's always so much better to grow your own plants if you can. There is nothing like stepping out into your own garden to pick the herbs or veggies at the same moment you are using them-so fresh. And the fact that food prices are going up even makes it better and worth all the while. I have been growing our own herbs for years and some vegetables as well.

  7. Some of us don't need any encouragement! I just wish I had enough space to be self-sufficient.

  8. Becky, Gas prices are always high near Chicago, some of the highest nationwide. I am noticing some food items creeping up. One that astounds me is $3 for a decent loaf of bread! To me that is just nuts! I'm looking forward to watching all my blogger freinds gardens this year!

    Thanks Lee! Glad to have you! I agree, growing you own is best!

    Mark, no doubt you don't! Your garden is impressive and orderly! No chance of turning more space into cultivation?


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