If you find
Many farmers earn a farmer income and pay a city dweller’s shopping bill
Modern farming is a far cry from the old mixed farming. We tend towards monocultures or highly specialized farms
Grow food for your own family before you grow produce for sale.
If you grow it yourself you don’t need to shop where the rich do, you can do better.
Buying processed or packaged food in town at supermarket prices and selling unprocessed food at farmgate prices is a recipe for poverty.
Modern lifestyles mean that more food is processed and packaged, even the food bought by farmers.
In the old days, most of the farm family’s food was grown on the farm. So were most of the seeds (now bought as expensive hybrids which won’t perform well without fertilizers and chemicals).
Grow it, eat it and sell the surplus is a good start. This works for vegetable farmers and obviously this is not a lot of fun nor a lot of use if you farm only cotton, but in that case there is every reason for a Kitchen garden or more.
It feeds the family, trains children in what plants and pests are all about so that as they grow up they have an understanding of what underlies farming and what is real.
Your home-grown meat, humanely slaughtered plus fresh-picked, tree-ripened fruit and fresh-picked vegetables taste better and are more readily available and surely are better for you.
Such a garden might hold a few beds of vegetables which are best harvested fresh, some herbs, some edible flowers and decorative flowers in season and so on.
Even if it starts out as a minimal garden, it means that when there is a need to vary or extend a meal, it is a moment away, thus easing the pressure on the person who is cooking at what can be a high-pressure time as everyone comes in weary, particularly for the evening meal.
Once that has been established there might be more interest in expanding the kitchen garden.
I built one using all the weeds I dug out of the farm. I just piled them into some areas defined by some straw bales, put other compostables on the top, covered with more straw and then planted seed or seedlings about a cupful of soil placed into the mix.
We ate like kings and had the satisfaction of turning weeds into food.
Some elements of a garden to feed the family might be:
- Home vegetable garden
- Home orchard
- Home chickens
- Fruitful laneways.
- Home vineyard
- House cow or goat
- Mini-mushroom farms (available at garden stores)
- Alfalfa and other sprouted seeds and
- Any other things you can grow or make to put into the family diet.
And if all that isn’t enough reason to have a Kitchen garden:
- it is better food
- it is reliable
- it is good way to study pest systems and any response from the beneficial insects etc
- It contributes to High self-sufficiency
- it is usually tax-free and thus not only cheaper, but cheaper in after-tax dollars
- It is an important factor in the Survival that has to be the first aim in farming: keeping the family alive, well fed and together as a unit and caring for the land that supports the farm.