Self-sufficiency–it starts at home

Open the fridge and what do we see?

Packaged groceries purchased from a supermarket that undoubtedly passed several hands before reaching you.

Once upon a time, your hands, or the hands of a neighbour were the only ones between life’s staples and you.

I live in Suburbia and the nearest farm is several miles away–but that doesn’t mean I can’t eat what I grow.

I’m lucky enough to have a yard with several beds that I till and use to produce edible delicacies later prepared in the kitchen. I also actively read and participate in forums for all gardener types, including container gardening for those in the city. My Pinterest is full of projects awaiting execution, but for me, the most rewarding aspect of raising your own food is the connection to the earth.

To put it simply: we will all someday return to the earth in little boxes, so no matter how you fight it, we are connected to it.

How then, did it come to where we are all so disconnected from the earth we are made of?

I highly encourage the growth of gardens and especially edible fauna wherever I go. I see potential space to create an edible dream–in my perfect world, food is still produced at home and manicured lawns reminiscent of royalty and status are long gone. Sure, this threatens the giant food machine that created supermarkets in the first place, but if someone wants to decide to sustain themselves like this, why shouldn’t we allow them?

Some municipalities have ordinances against gardening in your front yard, others on the collection of rainwater. I have even read about cities citing some citizens who planted edible foliage on the easement instead of grass.

On one hand we have the live-and-let-live philosophy, wherein the neighbourhood allows it to pass and grows to accept the changes the season brings to the garden.

The other involves ‘what if’s’.

What if it attracts animals, what if a kid eats something they shouldn’t, what if it’s not maintained?

I hate ‘what if’s’ because they do us no good in reality.

Gardens have a way of encouraging curiosity and discovery.

Animals, kids, insects will probably visit, local pests also have local predators and an individual willing to endure such a conversion would take precautions against the destruction of their bounty.

The only force left to stop the home grower is Big Brother. Stories about people facing fines and penalties for gardens are becoming more common, and as people seek to reduce their environmental footprint, some are turning to the collection of rainwater to supplant their municipal source in times of bounty; which is illegal in some areas.

I repeat myself for effect, it’s illegal to collect and store rainwater and even live off grid in some cities. Per ordinances the water falling from the sky belongs to the municipality and therefore punishable by fine or imprisonment.

How ironic!–that in a society that values organic XYZ, the most organic means of food production–your property–is hindered.

Anyone can grow food.

The passion needs to be sown and fostered.

It can be a simple as an herb garden, or as complex as aquaponics, but you should try it before it we’re all told it’s illegal, or we have no choice but to.

I have next season’s seeds in cold storage (refrigerator) and I’m learning how to make a raised garden bed.

Who knows?  Maybe my next soiree will feature culinary delicacies direct from the garden.

 

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