Community Gardening and Self Sufficiency

Raisedbedsforrent0_medIn just about three weeks from now I will plant my first vegetable in my raises bed gardens. This day will not only mark the first day of becoming more self reliant on my own healthy food production, but will also stir the creativity inside me to start a movement like the world has never seen before since Victory Gardens of World War II. You see, I believe that it is possible for a community to come together in a way where it is possible to produce enough food for an entire community to survive. Let me explain this.

First lets assume that we have 30 families in one given neighborhood who enjoy gardening. If each family created raised bed gardens using only the most pure soils and refrain from pesticides by using natural techniques each could supply a quantity of organic vegetables. Of course they aren’t allowed to be called organic according to government standards, but who cares. So each family would only grow one type of vegetable. John up the street is growing peppers and Jane across the way is growing zucchini. In this way it allows each family to become an expert at growing that given vegetable that they volunteer to grow. Another reason for the one type of plant idea is that each vegetable plant requires different standards of growing. While Jane knows that her zucchini plants will require room to grow, Tim’s tomato plants will require baskets to hold the plant up as the tomato’s weight down the plant.

HothFarmersMkt1TPAssuming that this could be created the second step is simple distribution amongst the group. If each family came together on a Saturday morning and shared their yield of vegetables with all the others in the group then each family would have a nice supply of vegetables to get through the week. It seems simple enough. If there is an overproduction it is possible to sell the extra vegetables to others in the neighborhood at a price which is much lower than they could find at their local grocer. Any funds generated in this process would of course go towards the groups needs for the next year’s grow.

So now, let’s take another step. Lets assume that there is on person in the group who knows the process of canning, dehydration or quick freezing. Could it be possible to produce enough vegetables in one season to create enough food for the whole year for the group? Can this group become totally self sufficient to the point where they do not have to rely on outside sources? I don’t know, but in the next few years I may have an answer.

Let’s say that each family becomes so good at this practice that they start creating more raised bed gardens and producing even more of their given vegetable. The group creates their own gardeners market each Saturday morning and start generating more funds for the group. There is a local rancher in town who only raises the healthiest of cattle by using only those methods which are kind an natural. If the group was to come together and use the funds they have to purchase the meats that this rancher produces it would not only give the a rancher a source of income, but also provide for the group. This could work with chicken, eggs, butter, milk and the list goes on.

Grow-savings-with-solar-investmentAnd what about the advantages of saving money? Food is expensive. And as the years go by it is one thing that you can always count on that it will be more expensive next year than it was the year before. It may be expensive the first year to put together the gardens, but that first year should pay for itself in savings on purchasing these same foods from the grocer. And I am sure they are much healthier.

I could go on and on about how this community could continue to grow but I am going to stop here and leave it up to your imagination. This is not some new idea as it has been practiced throughout the centuries before us. It hasn’t been until recently that we as humans have stopped relying on each other for survival and put our trust in large scale farming and manufacturing. And Yes, it is a lot easier to simply pick up our groceries from the local supermarket, but think about what we have lost in this process. Many of us don’t even know who our neighbors are. We have lost that sense of community as we struggle through our crazy work schedules. We have given away our control of feeding ourselves by relying on outside sources to produce our foods for us. As a child I remember spending time with my Great Grandfather working in the garden. How many children today are given the same opportunity to get outside and get their hands dirty and be one with nature and actually interact with other children and adults in their neighborhoods. Wow, talk about strengthening the bonds of community! As families get together on Saturday mornings to not only share their garden productions they also share stories of gardening, cooking and all kinds of subjects you slowly see new friendships being made. You have to admit that there is nothing that brings people closer together than food.

So as of right now this is just an idea in my head as I stare out the back door and look at those raised beds I built. I know that this is already happening and have learned of community gardening where a plot of land is dedicated as a community garden, but I thought that I would take it one step further. Let me know what you think of this idea and also if you think it would be something that could be done in your own neighborhood. I would absolutely love the feedback.

Blood Sugar- 93, Weight- 168.2

NO WORKOUT TODAY, DAY OF REST

Meals
Breakfast- Cottage Cheese
Lunch- Burger, Salad
Dinner- Beef Ribs, Green Beans

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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39 Responses to Community Gardening and Self Sufficiency

  1. BookWriteHer says:

    The principle could apply to so many things. Eggs, baked bread. Isn’t it ironic that it’s taking social media to realise what’s missing 😯

  2. jncthedc says:

    Great concept. Take a look at the following link. It will add even more motivation.
    Greenbronxmachine.org

  3. Raised beds. Greenhouses. Celestial Planting. Heritage Seeds. Community. These are concepts that are gaining popularity here in Ontario Canada as well. Love being in control of what goes into my body, mind and soul. What a great place to start! My husband has just finished making the 2nd of 3 raised beds for me. Planted heritage seeds according to my celestial planting calendar. Now ever day til after the first frost we take the seedlings out to the greenhouse each morning and back in at night. It is a ritual of love. The proceeds to be shared with family, friends and neighbours. I love what you are doing. Getting back to simpler times.

  4. Oh yes. I live in a rural area, so many are farmers anyway. The local community health centre has a community garden too. It is run by the dietician who also holds weekly cooking classes. I am so pleased that I chose this area to live in when we retired from work and city life. There is a real sense of community here as well as a large pool of specialized skills in this regard. If I had more time, I would get involved with spreading your idea to the health centre’s community garden. I will at least repost your blog as I do have some local followers.

  5. Growing your own vegetables is definitely a reliable idea for all reasons for living a better life. I remember helping my father plant vegetables in our backyard when he was still alive. Our neighbors would buy tomatoes, bitter gourd, a bundle of pandan leaves and moringa leaves from us almost every week. I plan to do that when I go back to my hometown.

  6. I have this friend who lives on a farm, she has a huge garden, also has chicken, ducks, geese, sheep, and a milking cow. She doesn’t have to get anything good wise from stores. She makes her own yogurt, cheese, processes her own milk, cans her own vegetables for the year. Totally self-sustaining. She’s also branching out and trying to make deodorant now so she can check that off the list of buying from the store.

    • Wow. What a wonderful life although at times I know that it is hard for her. Hopefully here community is supporting her in her efforts by purchasing her products.

      • I buy eggs from her all the time, I can see myself buying vegetables from her as well. It’s so crazy, she has over 200 tomato plants in the summer! Like isn’t that crazy? And it’s just her and her two children because her husband is always working away. She also works full time with me! I don’t know how she does it but she’s kind of like superwoman in my eyes haha

      • It sounds to me like you have a wonderful friend. Maybe you could find a little time to help her out. That might be pretty exciting.

      • I have been out there and helped, I got to bottle feed a lamb once! And it’s so cool because when she gets home she lets all the animals out of their pens and they’re all friends and follow her around the yard and see whatever she’s doing. So cool! I love it there!

      • Sounds like so much fun.

  7. It’s a nice idea in principle, but so was communism, just never quite works out as planned. The article is fitting as I just set my kale seeds. Actually, I made my kids do it, as there may come a day when community gardening will become necessary again. Until then, off to the supermarket.

  8. wondersgirl says:

    Living in a farming community in Ontario, Canada already. I do see a lot of this way of life already coming together, however that being said, I wish more of the community would adapt this philosophy as well.

    Thank you for sharing this post with us! 🙂

  9. KD Quick says:

    This kind of action is becoming contagious. Good job spreading the word and keep thinking out loud. Add value and make it happen. Get out meet people, ask questions and RALLY!

  10. Lety C says:

    Very nice post. About 6 years ago I started to grow some vegetables in my back yard, I grow zucchini, cherry tomatoes, jalapeño, bell peppers and I even have an artichoke plant. But nobody else around my neighborhood is interested, yet very please when I give them some of my harvest. My best wishes in getting your community involved!

  11. Learning how to grow your own food should be an educational requirement for kids all across the globe. Growing food for ourselves not only allows us to appreciate the process of cultivating our own nourishment but also holds us accountable if we neglect our plants. I think it’s wonderful that your mind has created a conversation surrounding growing your own food. I look forward to hearing about your garden as the weeks go on 🙂 Good luck!

  12. Cheryl says:

    I love gardening and even in Tokyo I have a small plot where I can grow my own, and containers on my balcony.
    I love the idea of community gardening and sharing. Not only would it reduce food bills, but it would provide a great opportunity for communities to get together again, opportunities for being outdoors and significantly reduce food miles. Everything that I feel strongly about.
    Win win.

    Awesome idea!

  13. RachelleGreene says:

    This is a wonderful idea. My co-workers and I adopted a similar idea. At my family’s business (we have an office-space), we have five little pots of plants out back that are sprouting already! Naturally we’ll transplant some soon to give them space, but it’s a great way to start out. Just water them on your first break in the morning and sit them out in the sun. 🙂 Have fun!

  14. ddevin86 says:

    Reblogged this on Healthy Living Glasgow.

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