Someone asked me recently, and very innocently: “why are you guys growing so much food? It was a valid question in which I didn’t have a clear and ready answer. It led me to reflect on why we choose to invest our time into turning our acre into an edible one and blogging about it. After giving it some thought, words didn’t come to mind but a picture did. I had a very clear vision of the food that was grown right outside my door as a child. I could distinctly remember eating a lot of real, fresh homegrown food and in this memory I realized that subconsciously, food production has always been personal to me. My great-grandparents had a farm and my grandparents operated a fruit and vegetable market. My own father also decided to purchase a farm in his 30s, so its not entirely surprising that I may have come full circle in wanting to turn my land into something with a purpose.
I grew up on a farm and to me, real food, the good stuff – was grown or raised right outside your door. Think of the perfection of a sun warmed berry, perfectly ripe and juicy. Or the crunch of a pepper or cucumber that somehow has a sweetness to it that you can’t find in a grocer. Or what about the satisfaction of digging up potatoes and enjoying the creaminess of it alongside the buttery softness of lettuce. To be able to serve this at my table and offer the flavours to others in the community is a way we can give back. It also means that I can pass on important food skills to my daughter and help her build knowledge about where food actually comes from – that it comes from our soil. We have forgotten that food is primal, it does not come from a ‘store’, it comes from seed, from dirt and without it we will die.
Recently, when I was reading 100 miles diet (a local couple who recount their experiences, including motivations and challenges, on restricting their diet, for one year, to include only foods grown within 100 miles of their residence), I was disappointed at how little our stores provide that is truly local. It makes no sense as we have an abundance here on the west coast – and optimal growing conditions. There is so much around us to grow and eat, yet we don’t know how or even consider it, and that is a problem. Our personal solution has been to initiate and inspire others like us who have full, busy lives (we both work full-time) but still want to grow food – even in small spaces.
Almost immediately, after people ask “Why” they counter with “How”? We decided to really give this a focus on our blog so that people can feel confident about tackling their own garden. It can be easy and with the right planning you don’t have to quit your day job to enjoy home-grown food.
So look for lots of posts from us about how to grow, organize, and build your garden in a simple and cost-efficient way.