Growing for Food Security
Don’t aim to grow all your own food the first year you attempt a garden. Start small and do what you can. If you start too big, you’ll be overwhelmed trying to manage it all.
If you’ve never grown anything before, start with a couple of herbs on your kitchen counter. Pick up a live lettuce or basil plant at the grocery store and stick it in a pot with some soil. Designate one corner of your yard to get you started.
Just be sure you are growing things you actually like to eat.
My very first garden had a couple of tomato plants and a couple of heads of lettuce in a raised bed. Those tomato plants grew SO many tomatoes, I had to learn to can them so I could make salsa because I didn’t like fresh tomatoes! (Later I realized it was just store-bought tomatoes that I don’t like).
Spend some time over the winter to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Then, do some research and figure out how to fix what didn’t work and make a plan for next year.
Having a plan can make the difference between success and failure.
Preserving for Food Security
Once you’ve eaten all the fresh basil, tomatoes, or whatever, that you can handle, don’t let the rest go to waste. Figure out how to preserve it!
Tomatoes can be frozen whole. When the end of the season gets close and I have more tomatoes than I can manage, I throw them in bags and stick them in the freezer. Then, when a recipe calls for tomatoes or even tomato sauce I pull a few out, thaw them, and then chop them. Although, if it is an Instant Pot recipe, I just throw them in the pot whole.
Basil leaves can be frozen the same way or they can be dehydrated on a sheet pan on the dash of your car or even hung in small bundles out of direct sunlight where they’ll get good airflow.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or hard. Just do what you can.
Just Do IT! Have Food Security
Nike nailed it with this slogan.
I often hear people say things like, “I don’t have the time” or “I’m not creative enough.” I’ll be honest. Those aren’t reasons. Those are excuses. What they are really saying is “I don’t want to make the time” or “I’m just not interested.”
You make time for what matters to you.
If you really have no interest in learning to grow and preserve your own food, that is totally fine! Just be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you have made a choice rather than making an excuse.
Just Plant! Even if it is just one little herb pot.
Then learn how to use that herb in your meals.
If you think it is important to be food secure, then you will find a way to do what you can. It can fit into your life somehow.
What have you done to get started? Tell me below in the comments!