How My Gardening Grows

I used to keep a larger emergency food supply than I do now. My children laughed at what they referred to as my stockpile for nuclear catastrophe, but I got it honestly from my grandmother. I remember rows and rows of toilet paper stacked in the basement! My grandmother gardened and canned, too, but I didn’t pick up those skill sets for a sustainable life until much later. I gardened, though. It was fun to plant food and flowers as a hobby just to see what they looked like. Gradually I came to see how knowing how to grow food is far more sustainable than simply keeping a stockpile. I learned how to can, but wondered at the energy input necessary to create a homemade stockpile. My curiosity grew to investigate other avenues of keeping food such as root cellars and dehydrators and even wild foraging. It seems to me that extending the growing season and learning to grow a variety of tasty food would be a more sustainable use of time and resources. From there I ran into habits, habits of eating convenience foods and eating out. Sometimes my homegrown work sadly went the same way as any other moldy leftovers. Food sustainability has now come to mean to me sustainable health and being a good steward of the land, even if the land is only my suburban backyard.

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