Food Self-Reliance

Even if you think that war will never happen in America, or that the Great Depression, or Bad Times, will never again be our lot, consider these points about growing your own vegetables and fruit.   
    Growing your own can offer 1) fun and self-satisfaction  2) cost-savings  3) family involvement  4) more nutrition than store-bought 5) more safety than corporate grown 6) better taste 7) larger selection 8) alternative to television 9) reduction of immigration 10) better health.  There are at least 990 other reasons.

Gardening has its roots in survival.  Without food, starvation comes quickly. Without stores, only gardeners will have food.  Even middle-class Europeans during World War II often found themselves in dire straits. Hardly a night goes by without national news programs reporting on mass starvation somewhere on the globe.  Even local channels in Rapid City seem obsessed with food welfare and stocking food banks.  One survival gardening website reminds us of just how serious planting vegetables can be. 

In 1790, 90 percent of our citizens were farmers. Everyone had a vegetable garden, usually a kitchen garden tended by women and children, located near the kitchen door.

     Field crops were a bit removed from the house and tended by men and boys. We fed ourselves from our gardens. more

Black Hills Farmers Market which operates seasonally on Omaha Street in Rapid City  is developing a website and also has a page on Facebook. Check out the Facebook page here.

Check out the Omaha Street Black Hills Farmers Market site here.

Waste not, want not.  Baskets of delicious berries - strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are abundant in the grocery stores all year thanks to global transportation. Keeping them in the fridge at home can be a challenge because of mold which can appear very quickly. The way to avoid that? Make a dilute solution of vinegar and water and rinse the berries in that. Let them drip dry (without rinsing) and the small amount of vinegar (avid) will stop mold (which is feeding from the sugars) from forming. Give it a try!

In short, the more you waste, the more you'll have to work away from home and family to pay for it.

Buy fresh local food from urban gardens.  A foodshed is similar to a watershed, a collecting area that drains to a river system. Foodsheds are those areas that surround a city and could feed (or substantially contribute to) a city. The common components of foodsheds are farmers markets, community gardens and CSA (community supported agriculture) programs, shared neighborhood gardens and urban agriculture in all its manifestations: bee-, rabbit- and chicken-keeping, in addition to urban orchards and more visible and numerous home vegetable gardens.  Read more . . .

 Grow your own food, even in the city.  Families are once again growing a good portion of their food, children are learning to garden in school, grandparents are gardening with children and more cities are understanding that the opportunities for urban agriculture are very much in a community’s best interest. more


Summer Food in Wintry February


16 Popular Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze

1. Garlic – You can freeze whole garlic, garlic cloves or chopped fresh garlic. Frozen garlic does lose some of its texture, but the flavor remains intact.

2. Corn – You can freeze fresh-picked corn on the cob for up to one year. Pack it in freezer bags — husk and silk and all. For store-bought corn, husk and blanch it before freezing.

3. Avocados – The bad news is that frozen avocados lose their consistency. The good news is that they do not lose their taste, so you can use them for guacamole or dressing. Wash and halve them before peeling. Freeze as halves, or puree them with lime or lemon juice and then store for up to eight months.

4. Mushrooms — You can freeze raw button, creminis and portabellas mushrooms for later use. Chop and slice mushrooms and then spread them on a cookie sheet. Freeze. Then transfer the pieces to bags or containers.

5. Onion – You can save chopping time – and tears – by freezing onion for cooking later. Store peeled, chopped onion in plastic freezer bags. The best part is you can just toss them into your recipes without thawing them first.

6. Hummus – Scoop your fresh hummus into plastic containers. Then drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the top to keep it from drying out. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before mixing and serving.

more such winter gardening from Off the Grid News