This booklet is an essay adapted from a keynote speech given by the Prince of Wales at The Future of Food Conference at Georgetown University. In his speech he talks about sustainability in food production. Pretty interesting stuff. Something that the Prince said that resonated with me was; "The fact is that food production is part of a wider socioeconomic landscape. We have to recognize that social and economic stability is built upon valuing and supporting local communities and their traditions. Small holder agriculture therefore has a pivotal role." I couldn't agree more. Supporting small local farms and, growing and storing your own is essential for the health of bodies, the earth and communities.
I find it very exciting that this idea of growing and storing your own is coming back into vogue. For the longest time we were the only ones we knew that grew and canned our own. As time went by more and more people got on board.
No matter where JR and I live we put in a small garden. Sometimes all we have room for is tomato plants and herbs in pots but it is enough for us. When we lived on a large plot of land we would grow and can our own produce or buy, straight from the farm, and put by those things that we couldn't grow.
One year we planted our garden in our front yard because that was the sunniest place we had. Vision tomatoes growing next to roses. Our neighbors thought we were nuts until they reaped the benefits of our over abundance. I come by this grow it where I can mentality honestly; my grandfather dug up the lawn in his back yard to plant a produce garden in his urban St. Louis home. He was urban gardening before it became fashionable.
I learned to can from my mother-in-law, she learned from her mother and so on. I taught 3 of my friends. JR and I went to the library to investigate ways that we could store foods that we couldn't jar up. At one point our basement mechanical room was draped with onions and garlic because it was the best place to dry them out. We had several garbage cans filled with sand and straw to keep carrots, potatoes and root veggies through the winter. Apple cider was frozen in gallon milk jugs that we stored up all year then drank or used to sweeten jams and jellies.
Unlike this photograph, we didn't keep everything in the root cellar. We didn't have a root cellar. I've always wanted a root cellar. Alas, I had to make do with a caning closet in the basement and garbage cans in the garage. Hey, it worked.
I'd like to encourage all of you to grow your own if you can, buy locally from sustainable farms and jar up, can, or put by (however you like to say it) what you can. And, as always try to eat less meat. Or do as Thomas Jefferson did, eat "meat as a condiment to the vegetables which constitute my principal diet."