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4
Mar

Are You in Danger of Becoming Free?

by Tiffany in Gardening

food freedom

I heard a quote recently that really hit home with me. I thought about it all day long and realized fully just how true it was.

Growing food is one of the most dangerous occupations on this earth because you are in danger of becoming free. – Jules Dervaes

I could not believe how simple and amazing this truth is. When we do not grow our own food we are slaves to food companies, grocery stores, and a government that promises to protect our food supply but often doesn’t. We have to worry about food prices sky rocketing, the noxious chemicals and pesticides that may be inside our food, and having to rely on OTHER people for one of our most basic human needs. We certainly would not want to rely on other people for oxygen to breathe and we should also be a bit more concerned about relinquishing all control we have over our food supply.

The concept of a victory garden remains just as important today as it was in years past.  During WWII you would see posters encouraging you to grow your own garden so that you could avoid the restrictions of food rations and become more self sufficient during what had to be stressful times. Families grew their own food on what land they had. Other people gardened in vacant lots, on rooftops, and in city parks. Public schools even designated areas for gardens and the students maintained them.

The purpose behind the victory garden was to lessen the demand on commercially grown Poster - Plant a Victory Gardenproduce and thus more would be available to the Armed Forces and lend-lease programs. We don’t really have this problem now but we still need to reconnect with our food in the same way. We cannot trust in many of the companies that grow and supply our food. They are in this business for money, not to feed and soothe the masses. They don’t care if we are ingesting petro chemicals and pesticides that may give us cancer down the road. We may not be able to continue to feed our kids healthy, organic foods if this economic meltdown continues. We do not have to just accept that though. We do not have to take it laying down. We can grow our food to the extent we can and with each veggie we grow we are just a bit closer to food freedom. We don’t have to be victims… we can be the victors… all we need is a little homegrown revolution.

I am gardening for food freedom this year. Are you?

In honor of the upcoming planting and growing season for most of the US I am going to chronicle my journey and I encourage everyone else to do so as well. Even if you grow just one or two things this year… perhaps some cilantro in a window box or some tomatoes on your porch you are growing your way to freedom. Send me pictures of your efforts and your produce and I will even post some here with a link to your blog if you have one. Let’s come together this year and garden for freedom and support each other while doing it.

If you don’t have a yard to garden in you might try some of the following:

1. Plant in containers on your porch, patio, or window. Use any space you have available.

2. Use any resources you have available. You can recycle stuff you already have to make containers or even go to thrift stores and look for old pots. Check out the book Don’t Throw it – Grow It for eco friendly and frugal gardening ideas. It shows how to grow 68 window sill plants from kitchen scraps.

3. Look for a community garden that will give you a designated spot or plot to garden. You can also join up with friends or family and plant at one of their homes if they have the space and you don’t. I did this one year and it was great.

4. Find a small secret place to garden at a local park. I know one gentleman who gardens in various places in Central Park!

5. Do you have an elderly neighbor who used to garden but can’t anymore? Volunteer to work their garden in exchange for half the produce.

6. If you can’t find any way to garden then support another gardener or local farmer. Buy from local farms and skip the middleman.

So let’s get busy! And email me your pictures! Grab the button below if you want to as well.

food freedom banner

Related posts: Frugal Gardening

  • andiscandis

    I read once that if you purchase produce at the supermarket 9% of your money goes to the farmer. If you purchase produce at a farmer’s market 90% of your money goes to the farmer.

    Excellent post and thanks for the grab.

  • Jessica

    I used to grow our own veggies and then can or freeze them to last the winter. This season i plan to get back into it full force with containers. I just don’t trust the food companies anymore.

  • Thank you for all these ideas. You’ve put into words (and concrete suggestions) some vague ideas that I had floating around in my head, and I can’t wait to put some of this to use.

  • Oh… my dream is to have my own garden. I want it so bad. I’m hoping to work on it with my mom in her yard this year.

  • Thank you so much for this article. I posted about it on my new blog today and added your button to the side bar. I’m really looking forward to hearing updates from you and your other readers.

  • Lindsay

    We have a 10 month old son and just recently moved from a townhome to a house…with a YARD! I am very excited to have the space to start a garden this year. The yard already has an established apple tree and raspberry bushes which I am very happy about. My best memories are canning/freezing with my mom and grandmother and I want to pass that on to my children. Thank you for encouraging this!

  • Stefanie Stricker

    I have 3 small kids and we have never grown our own food. It was not something I learned how to do as a child. I would really like to plant a garden this year with the kids, but I am not sure where to start. Are there any good gardening for beginners resources out there? I’d appreciate any tips to get us started. Thanks for the post. It’s always so great to get these emails, Tiffany.

  • I am back on the gardening wagon again this year! We started some seedlings this week. I’m going to try an implement The Square Foot Garden methods since we only have a small space that gets enough sun.

  • Though I’m moving to Phoenix, I am determined to grow my own produce! I have been chatting with Phoenix locals about this and have been told that this is actually quite possible. So far I have received three pieces of knowledge appear to be golden:

    1.) The grown season is backwards: beginning of October to the end of May (so you won’t see many pictures from my blog until September).
    2.) If your produce or the leaves of the plant aren’t taking well to the direct sunlight tarp a fire proof mesh fabric directly above the plant to cut down on the extreme degree of sunlight. Most plants take find to the sunlight (apparently) but soft skinned fruits such as tomatoes will want shade.
    3.) Put up a barrier from the southwest spring wind, you don’t have to cut off the area completely but something to break up the force.

    I was already planning on having a potted vegetable garden (as a renter), if I wasn’t then given the issues of breaking desert dirt I would have a raised garden bed.

    What I have been able to gather is, know your produce. Don’t just plant tomatoes, read about them. Find out exactly what your tomatoes wants, and then predict the problems are you going to have and how you might fix them. When you have a few ideas for problem control, then you can plant.

    So I bought a book on fruit and vegetable gardening, and until September I’ll be reading up on my chosen produce. (Tomatoes are a must; I’m thinking carrots and potatoes – start with the stables sort of mentality).

    Here’s a good site for desert planting
    http://desertgardens.suite101.com/article.cfm/planning_a_desert_vegetable_garden

  • Lori

    I would like to start growing a few things too. I do have a yard to be able to do a garden, and could do pots as well. I feel totally overwhelmed as to where to begin. Can anyone recommend a good website or book for the total novice who is nervous about messing it up?!

  • Tracey

    Too funny about the Central Park Gardener! :) Great Post!

  • Every year I grow a little more and learn a little more. The best advice I can give is, as with all new things, be prepared to make mistakes. The only failure is not even trying. Just don’t expect your food to look like the produce at the grocery store. Homegrown food just has much more variation in shape and size. Blemishes are fine, just cut them off and eat the good part. Even caterpillars are OK. No need to spray, just remove them by hand.

    And if you’re not ready to grow enough food yet – I’m not after 3 years at this – you can try CSA. Don’t know what CSA is? I have an article on this if NatureMoms doesn’t.

  • Meg

    We just moved into a new house in January and we now have a yard. Even though we have very acidic walnut trees on our property we’re going to do a square foot garden and get some veggies and herbs going. Hopefully one day we’re going to get an apple and pear tree and some blueberry bushes. I’m really excited and already have my organic seeds starting in some biodegradable peat cups. We are using cherry tomatoes, peppers, green onions, basil, chives, and dill from the Canadian certified organic seed line from Aimers seeds.

  • Sheila Bueltman

    I worked for a large Grocer for 15 years. I love the Freedom from companies idea. They are totally in the biz to make money and the manufacturers are even worse. We should only be eating the perimeter of a grocery store anyway. If you can grow your own, even better. We downsized our home 1.5 years ago so I have no space in townhome living to grow but am working on eating more local and organic. It is my dream to move back to a yard with a garden like we had for over 17 years. If you are needing supplies, I have this great tool on my desktop called My Shopping Genie. Download it for free at http://www.MyShoppingGenie.com/Freedom and it will help you find the best price on garden supplies, tools, anything, saving you time and money.
    Happy Gardening!

  • Melissa

    Great article! I love the idea of becoming free via gardening! For all the newer gardeners out there, I highly recommend Square Foot Gardening – either visit the website or get the book from the library. It’s a wonderful way to get started – not too overwhelming, you don’t need expensive equipment and it’s so quick to weed and water. Also, check out http://hyperlocavore.ning.com/ . She has set up a website for yard sharing and also experienced gardeners can send newer gardeners seeds from their stash. Good luck to everybody and let’s get growing!

  • Excellent post! I love the idea of gardening for freedom. To all the newer gardeners out there – check out Square Foot Gardening. You can visit the website or get the book from your local library. It is (IMHO) the very BEST Way to get started for newbies. It’s not overwhelming. You don’t need a tiller. You can easily weed it and water it in just minutes a day. Also, check out http://hyperlocavore.ning.com/ I joined and am in the process of sending a newbie gardener some seeds. They have great ideas about yard sharing too! Good luck everybody and let’s get growing!!

  • marci

    The library can be your best friend for finding free info on gardening and edible landscaping – so much available!

    I have been veggie gardening for years, and now am passing the skills along to my grandkids, who have their own plots within my garden that they were responsible for. As a bonus, we took their produce to the county fair and they received ribbons and premium $$ – That has encouraged them to continue gardening with Grammi this year again :) We also have salad bowl nights – they take a bowl out to the garden and fill it with whatever they want to eat! I so enjoy their creative salads :)

  • Roxanne

    Maybe in addition to volunteering to help your elderly neighbor, you could give her some tips on how to make gardening less physically demanding. I would like to recommend a blog entry that examines ways to make gardening easier for senior citizens. Take a look. http://live-in-care.org/?p=47