Thursday, August 09, 2007

Half a Tevye

On the one hand, I love to encourage people to grow some of their own food.

On the one hand, even just a little is better than none. It is something. It contributes. Becoming aware of some of the difficulties of growing food, even if it causes discouragement, is better than being blissfully unaware of the difficulties of growing food. Becoming aware of the fulfillment that can bring tears to your eyes of feeding your family a meal that at one point was just a seed in your hand is better than tearing open another prepared package.

On the one hand, realizing that home grown tastes different than industrial, even industrial so-called organic, is something. That what’s available might not be what you are used to. Realizing that the fruit that grows on trees and canes and bushes isn’t really all that useful to you in February unless you’ve done something else with it, and that something else involves some work. Realizing that is something.

Something. But not very much. I do not mean to be discouraging.

I just think we should require more of ourselves. And I especially think that of people who see that there is a problem (global warming, peak oil, war, poverty, breakdown of the family, erosion of freedom).


Ren said...

Can a person grow enough food on 3/4 of an acre? I'm going to find out I guess.:)
One chunk at a time, we will discover just what can be produced and saved on a small space. It will be interesting for sure. This small garden stuff just never feels like enough....though it's a start.

CG said...

The answer is yes. Check out John Jeavons.

thingfish23 said...

Do y'all do internships?

I've been wondering that for a long time!


CG said...

Your in it already!

thingfish23 said...

But cg - My climate won't cooperate! What do I do?


Alecto said...

Yes, we are in it, aren't we? It's quite nice to be here too.

CG said...

tf, move. Or grow what really grows there, and grow it in the winter. Well, actually, you know you would know a whole lot more about that than I would.

I'm awful glad you're here too alecto.

Eleutheros said...

Thingfish:"Do y'all do internships?"
CG:"Your in it already!"

Hmmm. I just had the vision of CG done up in a Capt'n Barbosa outfit only with bibbed overalls stepping from the shadow to the moon light, pulling the cork out of a bottle of Jersey milk with her teeth, and saying:

"Ye'd best start believing in internships, Mr. Thingfish. Ye'r in one!"

thingfish23 said...

Yeah - on the real, this fall and winter are set aside for big-time sod removal and soil conditioning. Taking sod out (by hand) is a hell of a lot harder than putting it in.

I got double-cheated by the fact that I never put the stuff in to begin with! Lord knows I never wanted it, yet there it is!

It's great to have you back in the 'sphere, cg.

And eleutheros - I'm a believer! I believe just as firmly in taking failure on the chin, learning, and moving on. Know what I'm sayin'? Beginning at the beginning is hard, but worth it.

Eleutheros said...

Thingfish:"Beginning at the beginning is hard, but worth it."

True. But beginning anywhere else BUT the beginning is harder still.

Ren said...

Where are you thingfish? Because if you're in Florida you have my deepest sympathy for the growing thing.:) We moved away two years ago and never regretted that decision.

The few times I got a really decent garden going, a hurricane or flood would destroy it. Most disheartening.

thingfish23 said...

Ren - that's been our story - especially with the vegetables. It wasn't hurricanes, so much as plagues of pests, humidity, and squirrels. We're going to keep trying. There are foodstuffs that will grow here with a minimum of fuss. Sweet potatoes are a start.

Still, the variety is nothing like what folks can grow in NC Tenn and etc.

We're in deep SW Florida. Naples area.

I still don;t know if I can make myself leave Florida. The property insurance issue is making that decision a little easier, though. We're keeping a close eye on the real estate market here in order to sell at the right time.

Now's not the right time.

We'll know when the right time is.

CG said...

Sorry tf, but the right time passed you by a couple years ago. And a body could do a whole lot worse than sweet potatoes for a staple.

thingfish23 said...

Yeah - that was when we were just getting settled. New place, new career, etc.

Before i started to really open my eyes.

But there's more than one "right time" for a thing, and you know as well as anyone it doesn't do to cry over spilt milk.

I still feel that the particulars of the market in this town will allow for another opportunity to strike while the iron's hot, but it'll be awhile coming.

Meantime, there's much to do. Here. Now.

Ren said...

We were in NW Florida. I can't imagine trying to grow even further south....I've just got too much North left in me I guess.;)

I think what cg means about the "right" timing is more related to global issues like fossil fuel and food shortages. I'll not speak for her though...just guessing.

I mean to say thanks for the reading recommendation cg. A friend and I are working together to get ourselves more independent of industrial food. We figured sharing the books, storage and such would make it more doable, especially since it's just her and her son.

CG said...

tf, I do appreciate more than one "right" time. And also, that everyone anywhere can do an awful lot if they just would. Knowing how to grow some food where you are would be awful handy to that engorged population eventually.

But ren, what I meant about right time was that the real estate market is crashing. How far will it crash vs. how far will inflation go up, I don't know.

Ren said...

Well, I have to hope it's just a slump of course.:) I worry that oil issues will begin to affect it more deeply in coming years.

CG said...

I don't worry. And it's a crash. Prepare for a different sort of reality could be a message of this blog. Of course, my message is mostly that it is a better reality.

Ren said...

It's the GETTING to that reality that I worry about...just how much upheaval will exist and such.

thingfish23 said...

I'm loving the "other" weblog you're keeping, BTW, cg.

Don't stop.