Cultivate Your Own Independence

I wrote on my Instagram page recently about how during World War I and World War II, civilians back home empowered themselves in some of the only ways they knew how to. They planted food. Those people took to backyard gardens and public places and did what they could to alleviate the pressure placed on the food system during war time. Those gardens were called Victory Gardens. Look, I'm not comparing the Earth's current situation to either of the World Wars. I'm not going down that path or having that conversation.

But I will say that it is completely naive to think that a shockwave won't be felt through our food system when a sudden rush of demand floods grocery stores due to most households being quarantined at home and stocking up on more food than usual. Why? Because food takes time to grow. It's not planted, sprouted and harvested automatically in the produce aisle. A single tomato takes 60-85 days from seed to harvest. Our supply chain is forecasted based on trends from previous years. Demand is calculated and estimated. So what happens when a few weeks worth of food is depleted in a matter of days? Should we expect higher prices? Should we expect that under-ripe fruit/vegetables will flood produce shelves in an attempt to continue to fill demand that wasn't accounted for? Should we expect select items to be out of stock? Now is the time. The perfect time to follow our early ancestors and to take to our backyards and community gardens. It's time to grab a shovel and a packet of seeds and begin cultivating your own independence. What can I type that would move you to know, that you my friend, the person who has never been able to keep a houseplant alive, can grow their own food. You don't need much. Tomatoes on a porch, Lettuce in a hanging planter, peppers in a raised bed... plants do not discriminate. Where do you start? You start with what you love to eat. Are you a tomato person? then I have a few varieties you will love. Do you love salads? Then by sowing leaf lettuce closely in a large pot you will have cut-and-come-again lettuce all Spring long. But please, grow what you love. I'm an instant satisfaction person, not something I'm too proud of, but watching a plant go from seed to my dinner plate fast gives me all the feels. A few seeds you can sow outside that will turn around food quickly are radishes, kale, lettuce, Asian greens, and turnips. Bloom where you're planted. Homesteading is a mindset. You've got this friend.

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