We, as a nation, have a problem, with most people not even knowing it exists because of the disconnect between us and our food. Despite an overabundance of food in America, our nation is actually starving.
So first, some important backstory: When America was first colonized, kitchen gardens were a staple for survival. Most colonists provided a good portion of their families’ fruits and vegetables from their own land. When America began the industrial revolution, gardening began to go by the wayside with brief resurgences during WWI and WWII.
In 1960, a typical US farmer fed 25 people. Today, the average farmer feeds 155 people. During the industrial revolution, not only did people stop producing their own food, the number of people working on farms diminished significantly. As technology had advanced, individual farms have grown, and these farms are run by fewer people.
Why should we care about all of this? Two Words: Soil Depletion
First, with the advancement of technology, farming practices have changed; and not all for the better. We are just now learning the dangers of herbicides and pesticides, but above that we have an increasing problem in the depletion of our soil (IE. we are losing crucial nutrients in our food!).
Studies done on nutrient density find our foods are far less nutritious than they were 50 years ago. This means the apple you eat today isn’t as good for you as it was before. Considering we as a nation already consume far fewer fruits and vegetables than we should, this is a huge problem. No wonder we have so many diseases rampant. No wonder people don’t feel they can satisfy their hunger.
So how can we help?
Home Gardening. Don’t even worry if you’ve never done it before, just have a willingness to learn! Reverting back to correct gardening tactics puts vital nutrients back into your food. The old practices of mulching and composting may be nearly lost on us now but absolutely crucial if we are to solve this serious problem.
Our Plan This Year…
My husband and I have planted a garden since we were first married, even when we lived in a town home with a tiny backyard. Last year we were successful with several plants– especially with jalapenos and cucumbers. The jalapenos went great with our fresh salsa, but had a surprise perk later on.
We have a neighbor who absolutely loves jalapenos, and we were able to share many with him throughout the summer. As it turned out, he had an overabundance of grapes, and he and his wife were so sweet to share their extra with us.
It was a rewarding experience for our family to share what we had grown ourselves with our neighbors.
Gardening not only saves hundreds of dollars, it can help feed a nation. If everyone produced a little more of their own food supply and shared a little with others, we really could feed everybody.
Trying the “Back to Eden” Method
It’s starting to feel like Spring at our house! I absolutely love this time of year! One of the things I love about the weather warming up is getting ready for gardening time.
This year we are very excited to try the “Back to Eden” gardening method. If you’ve never heard of it, check it out! I was impressed with the free online film, and after extensive research on how to make it happen at our home, we are on our way. I called a local tree service to have this enormous pile of wood chips delivered. We love projects that can help teach our girls to work hard. Gardening definitely helps with that.
My husband, the girls, and I spent an entire Saturday morning shoveling and spreading. Notice a lot of my plants from last year still haven’t been pulled out. I did get to that later.
These stakes in the middle with the string are where we grow beans and peas. It makes a fun little play place in the garden for my girls to play.
We also have our chickens in their tunnels up here. I have loved having them around to eat the bugs. Chickens are also excellent mulchers! They eat all the scraps we don’t eat and the peels we won’t eat, and they turn it into beneficial mulch. We still do have a compost heap for all our yard waste, but chickens are much quicker. This year we plan to make our chicken tunnels go around the entire thing, and I will do a post on how to make them because they are really inexpensive to make and so handy in keeping chickens where you want them to be.
So far, the chips have been excellent in the garden. It rained over a week ago, and the ground is still moist just under the surface and all the way through the soil.
No Excuses, Just Results
There’s always a way to garden, even if it’s pots on the balcony, or a few plants in a flower bed. Try your hand at gardening this year. It’s totally worth the connection with nature and your food; you just have to start by planting the seed.