Feed yourself

Feed yourself

It is spring, and we are having a bit of rain here in Southern California this weekend. I am loving it. My garden is loving it too. I have been more consistent in watering the plants in the garden since added tomatoes and mint. The reality is, the other plants in my garden have been pretty hardy, so I have been less active. Today as I reflect on my garden though, I remembered the reason I started it in the first place.

I started my garden about 4-5 years ago. Mimi and I went out and bought some wood to make a raised garden bed, we put it together, and then cleared the area in the back yard for planting fruits and veggies. We did some potatoes since they seemed easy enough, and we had an abundance of those. We later added lemons and limes, and had success with those as well. At some point though I started spending less time outside and in the garden, and was in the house more. If you have read my recent blog posts, you will know that I am getting back to being outside more. In any event, today’s reflection led me to ask the question can I feed myself?

What is involved in feeding yourself?

Really, what all would one have to grow in order to consider themselves as feeding themselves? Is this something that I can do given the limited space that I have? Do I understand that timing is everything? Do I have the resolve and patience to try it out?

I don’t know. In my current situation, is this something that I can do? What all foods would I need to grow? my guess would be that I need a variety of fruits, vegetables, and berries. All of which take some time before they can be harvested. If this is a year-long journey, then I would need to make sure I planted seeds before others would be harvested. Would I need to make more space somewhere to have different items growing simultaneously?

Would my diet change?

I assume it would have to if I was feeding myself and my family. I mean there may be some food items I would probably still buy like honey. However that would mean we have to give up meat and eggs. I just don’t have the space for chickens and lambs in the back there. Furthermore, the way my heart is set up, I can’t see myself slaughtering an animal that I fed and groomed for its entire life… I would fail as an animal farmer. As such, we would likely have to be vegetarians. Would the family accept this? ¬†I am sure they would adjust eventually, but would they really? I mean I can hear Zamzam now opposing this action.

Can I really commit to it?

The fact that I was supposed to be juice and smoothies fasting for the rest of the month, and I have only had 2 smoothies since making that declaration kind of worries me. I mean it is really quite convenient to go to the store and pick up my produce anyway. Why put yourself through the hardship of subsistent farming? Why grow your own food? That means no more fuji apples for me!

Or maybe I don’t entirely feed myself from my garden, but I work with other gardeners to share/swap products. I know that I just don’t have the space (right now) to have a guava tree, banana plants for days (plantains too), coconut plants, orange trees, avocado, etc. I just don’t have the space, but maybe there are others who do have them, and may be willing to share/swap. Mostly share though… my space is small.

But still will I commit, and for how long?

Why feed yourself?

Well if I want to truly be free, then I need to be able to feed myself and my family right? I think being able to do so is the smart thing. Growing up we had at least an acre of land just for growing our own food. Farming isn’t something that is foreign to me. I grew up around farms, and farming (to an extent myself). I also am having less confidence in the food we are being fed. There is just so much processing going on… so many chemicals, so many everything. I know I may sound like I have left the reservation, but stay with me! I haven’t decided to act on this, but I do think there is something about being independent that a 9-5 doesn’t get you. Let’s see how this idea develops.

Neely