Everybody needs food. It is a fundamental requirement for human existence. What skills could be more valuable than those that help address basic needs?
In modern times most of us focus our energies on developing specialized skills and applying them to trade for the things we need to survive. This works well when these things, such as food are readily available. When there is a stress on the supply of these things, such as on the public food supply during war, then we recall the value of more practical skills that permit us to provide for ourselves. During WWI and WWII “victory gardens” became popular because the public food supply was stressed by the war efforts.
Growing food is a skill. I would argue that it is better to refine this skill at a time when mistakes are not likely to result in starvation. This way one may be free to take more risks and experiment with different techniques without fear of dire consequences.
If you are reading this article chances are high that you can grow something where you live. Not everybody has space for walnut trees, but might have space to grow mushrooms, a pot of strawberries, or a small garden.
Growing food is also rewarding. It is truly astounding how much better fruits and vegetables taste when grown and ripened in one’s own garden. There are many reasons for this including things such as being able to select varieties based on tastiness rather than on storage life and transport hardiness. One may also take advantage of polyculture, permaculture, hugelkultur, and many other growing techniques that would simply be economically out of reach for a large scale commercial farmer.
Many plants we use for food are really beautiful in their own right. Our nectarine tree not only produces the best nectarines I have ever tasted, but it is a really beautiful tree.
I will share my experiences in future articles as my family and I improve our food growing skills. I hope that you will do the same so we may learn together. Are you growing a Liberty Garden?