Thrifty times series: Home grown food

growing-your-own-food

With world food prices ever on the increase and income ever on the decrease and the ecologically damaging methods that are used to produce our food, it would seem a wise move for anyone who can grow some of their own food to do so. This can easily be achieved in a front and back garden, in a backyard, or on your window sills inside the house.

Garden Growing

vegetablesAt home we have a South facing back garden, and a North facing front garden, the back garden supplies us with all of our salad stuff all through the summer until around October, we also get a good grape and tomato crop from the back garden, with the edition of hops this year. The front garden, despite its lack of all day sunshine will produce salad leaves, spinach, lettuce, and some edible flowers this year as it is being converted into a productive growing area.

Yard Growing

preserveIn older houses where people have a back yard as opposed to a garden there is still much that you can do, if you have the space it is easy to build wooden raised beds from old discarded pallets and other used timber. If your yard is not big enough to house raised beds then pots and any old decent large containers you can get hold with do. With yards there is always the vertical space that can be used to grow beans and peas up, or support espaliered fruit trees.

Indoor growing

peppersWith indoor growing, you would be surprised what you can actually grow on a sunny windowsill, for you might lose in volume with indoor growing, you will gain in the type of vegetable that you are able to grow, such as cucumber, chilli, capsicum and a diverse variety of tomato types which would simply not grow outside in a yard or garden due to the night temperature. In the US due in part to the huge uptake in permaculture many people now grow on their windowsills and a window farms movement is beginning to gather momentum, using recycled bottle growing systems, hydroponics and vertical gardening techniques.

Home grown food as part of a permanent future culture

cropAs oil supplies to begin to show signs of decline we can be preparing for when there is none by growing our own food and helping others to do. By doing this we create our own sustainable urban food supply which exists and thrives outside of the reliance on fossil fuels as our current food supply is. It is important to mention again that if we grow as many perennial varieties of vegetables as possible that we will be less reliant on annual seed supplies, some of which will inevitably have to be bought in from outside of the area,  using a mixture of heirloom seeds which can be saved to grow on in the next season and perennial plants will make the job of feeding us in a post oil situation a lot easier.

 

Steve

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