If you eat, you have surely noticed that the price of food continues to increase. The price is going up, but the quality seems to be going down. While walking the aisles squeezing and smelling produce, the thought crosses your mind, “Will this ever improve?”
I have good news for you! Yes! You can experience improvement in your food system by simply taking some of the control of it back into your own hands. Whether you only have a balcony or a patio or a lot of land to cultivate, we now have the resources available that allow you to grow your own food.
With improved seed varieties, growing supplies and technology, there is no reason (or excuse) why you can’t grow food for yourself and your family. To make the situation even better, here in Central Oklahoma (Zone 7b) we actually have three growing seasons – spring, summer and fall!
While reading this, you may be thinking, “We are in December. There’s nothing I can do at this time to grow my own food.” Actually, now is the perfect time, the exact time to get prepared and begin to lay out your food plan for 2024. Onions need to be planted on Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day). If they get a few good snows and some cold weather on them, they will be much sweeter. And guess what? That’s only about 10 weeks from now.
Seed companies are putting out their free annual catalogs, and during the cold days of winter it is a great time to sit down with a cup of hot tea, some graph paper, a pencil with a big eraser, your seed catalogs and a few Fact Sheets from Oklahoma State University Extension that you can download here at no cost and begin to make a plan. Start by drawing out your future garden areas or the arrangement of your pots on your patio.
Educate yourself about different growing systems. By utilizing different techniques, you should be able to enjoy fresh fruits, berries, vegetables and herbs year-round. By selecting both heirloom and hybrid varieties, you can introduce biodiversity into your diet. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of different tomatoes, peppers and beans that you could be eating instead of the five or 10 that you are used to purchasing from the big box stores. And on that note, the varieties that those stores carry are grown for their ability to ship well in a truck and store for long periods of time, so they’re not even the best for taste.
Here are a few videos that will allow you to begin to feed yourself rather quickly:
- Vertical gardening
- How to build a cold frame
- Concrete block raised beds
- DIY cattle panel hoop house
- Small scale microgreens
- Gardening in grow bags
- Balcony veggie gardens
- Small scale hydroponic farming
(Note: This is not a promotion any of these channels, but each of these videos show a specific gardening technique that allows you to learn in a realistic manner.)
Food availability, food security, soaring food prices and poor food quality are all real issues. Each of these can be solved by putting in the effort to begin to grow your own food, at your own house, in your own way. Every home and every family is different. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The one thing that we all have in common is that we need to eat, and as far as I know, everyone one like to eat delicious, healthy food. You can do this!
Knowing that is it possible to feed yourself during an economic downturn or difficult days is good news. But even better news is knowing that the struggles and trials we face are only temporary. This world is passing away, and so is everything in it. According to Tony Evans, “We are not existing in the land of the living, heading to the land of the dead. Rather we are existing in the land of the dying and heading to the land of the living.” Where will you live for all of eternity? Now is the perfect time, the exact time to make sure you are prepared.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16-17).
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Rom. 10:9-10).