Monday, November 23, 2015

Food Security and Water Wise Gardening

The healthiest most sustainable way to gain food security is to augment your food supply with a garden in your yard.  Not only do you and your family gain access to fresh veggies, which are at their best in flavor and nutrition picked immediately before eating, but home gardens help ease our impact on the environment.  Healthy soil retains more water, home grown veggies require less water to process, and a yard garden lowers your carbon footprint.

In our garden we have a steady supply of lima beans, kale, carrots, onions, beets, chard, salad greens and herbs.  There is always some seasonal harvest to add depending on the time of the year. Nothing leaves our yard.  We have three living compost piles, and two worm bins crawling with red wrigglers.  We brew compost tea to sell and use in our gardens.    

We also mulch like crazy and we munch like crazy.  We walk barefoot on the spongy soil and graze like rabbits.  And what we don't eat right away we can or share with our friends and neighbors. 

Mason jars are reusable and fermented veggies are really good for you. "Fermented foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics."  -Wellness Mama

Become food secure.  It is a shift in consciousness that empowers you and your family with experience and knowledge.  Being able to feed yourself with food you grew yourself is liberating!

Roughly 49 million people live in food insecure situations in the United States.  Roughly 40% of the food produced and brought to market is wasted. A typical meal of industrial produced food requires 200-700 gallons of water to produce.  By turning that wasteful chemically fed lawn into a organic food forest you help yourself, your neighborhood and the environment all at the same time.

A great book to read regarding  food security and growing your own is Food Not Lawns.  Another go to book is A Vegetable Gardener's Guide to Permaculture.  Start there and at the same time visit your local farmer's market, volunteer for Food Forward Gleaning projects, and connect with local community garden projects.