Keeping a vegetable garden in your yard or field is an old idea made new again. In the not too distant past everyone in my neighborhood grew their own food. Without a bustling market or prolific General Store there was just no other way for distant farmers to work their land and feed their families in the process.
As industrialization took hold in North America the backyard garden and home grown vegetables became something of a novelty. Keeping one was something that ‘hippies’, older women with too much time on their hands, or stay at home wives looking for yet another way to support the family without having to work, did. Those ‘fringe’ sects of the population (and trust me I say that with absolute respect as I have been, or will one day be, within each of these groups) are proving their worth today while the general population awakens to the realization that industrially provided and commercially grown vegetables have far less nutrient value than their backyard counterparts and are far too pricey.
Before I go on about recent research and nutrition, let’s get to the true reason most of us are growing our own food these days…the economic crisis. Once again it is an act of necessity in North America to provide part of our own food source even if we only have a small square of dirt available.
Between the old days and modern times there was another point in history when many families planted vegetables gardens out of necessity. These small plots of land were called victory gardens. Victory gardens were planted during WWII to supplement rations during the war. During the war just about everything was rationed and food was no exception. People supplemented their rations from their own garden, dubbed a Victory Garden.
Cut to 2008 to present and North America is again at war. This time however the enemy is an economic recession. And, although we aren’t on food rations, some of us might feel as though food is in short supply. With an increasing number of people losing their jobs, in debt well past their means, facing home foreclosure, and wondering how they’ll pay the electric bill, growing our own food just makes good sense.
So why not declare victory against the recession and plant a victory garden of your own? All you need is a plot of soil and seeds or plants. The cost to prepare a garden is minimal, especially when you consider that it can save you $100 a month or more putting home grown vegetables on the table.
Even if money isn’t an issue for your family there are other beneficial reasons to grow your own vegetables. Vegetables with the highest nutrient value are fresh and grown organically. That is a far cry from what you’ll find, and pay exorbitant prices for, in your local grocery store.
Before you start wondering if you’ve got the skills or the knowledge to grow a prolific garden that will feed your family and save money – take heart. Remember that I was a city slicker when I arrived here on this tiny, rocky, and abandoned farm. A single mom with a small child and yet somehow I managed to grow all sorts of healthy vegetables – many of which we ate year round even though our growing season was only a few months long.
“Necessity is the mother of invention” and so I learned the basics about seeds, soil, thinning, hardiness, spacing and watering without killing too many plants and wasting too much time and money while in training. To this day, even though or future is much brighter, I still keep a large vegetable garden. Partly for home grown vegetables nutritional value but also because I’ve come to love the act of growing my own food so much.
Be sure to read the rest of the vegetable garden articles on GoodByeCityLife and you’ll discover how to save money on your grocery bill, can and preserve your produce for year round consumption, and enjoy every step of the process.