New Interest In Homegrown & Foraged Food
This year attendance at my vegetable gardening and foraging classes has more than doubled. And it’s not just my classes. Several gardening and wild edible plants email groups have had discussions recently verifying that others are experiencing the same thing. In an interview I did recently, I was asked what I thought was causing the swell of interest in do-it-yourself food sourcing.
On the bright side, I think it’s partly because of the burgeoning local food movement and interest in sustainable food sources. On the dark side, I think there is an underlying anxiety caused by news of food shortages, rising food and fuel costs, salmonella scares, and how not taken care of people are when disasters like Katrina hit.
â€œYour safe haven must be self-sufficient and capable of growing some kind of food,â€ writes survivalist Barton M. Biggs. â€œIt should be well-stocked with seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc. Think Swiss Family Robinson. Even in America and Europe there could be moments of riot and rebellion when law and order temporarily completely breaks down.â€
I hope he’s wrong about that last sentence, but thanks to The 250 I am better supplied than many, at least when it comes to food. In my book, I joke about sleeping with fifty jars of home-canned food under my bed because I have nowhere else to store them in my one-bedroom apartment. But all joking aside, maybe I do sleep a little better knowing that they’re there.
Another trend I’ve been noticing is people growing food in unusual places, maybe because they don’t have anywhere else to garden. Instead of flower pots on the front steps, this Brooklynite chose to plant tomatoes and basil.
I’ve also spotted vegetables and herbs being grown next to people’s trash and recycling bins.
Survivalism aside, I think it’s great that more people are getting directly involved with where their food comes from, whether it’s foraging or inventing places to garden.
Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes by Leda Meredith