Moving toward local eating: Grow your own…or not

Choosing vegetablesPart of the “Moving toward local eating” series

I love to garden, so I am always experimenting with what I can grow at home.  I’ve been pushing the experiment hard enough, long enough, that I also know what I *won’t* be growing our whole supply of.  Wheat, dried beans, and carrots, for example.  I still have hope for some of the carrots, but unless I get a deer fence and more land and a whole bunch of equipment, I’m leaving wheat and beans to actual farmers.  And there is such a wealth of good tomatoes in my area, including my favorite canned pizza sauce (only $1 a can), that I’m not growing any tomatoes at all next year.  I’ll buy a bushel of tomatoes when I’m ready to make salsa, instead of being a slave to a steady trickle of tomatoes all season.

It’s been very liberating to come to the conclusion that I don’t “have to grow my own” to keep my locavore cred.  In fact, in some cases, trying to grow my own would be downright silly.  I know I could grow all my own tomatoes and salsa fixings if I needed to (though I’d have to use vinegar instead of lemon juice, which is not my preference) but I don’t think it’s even possible for me to grow my own wheat.  So I keep looking for ways to help keep locally-grown wheat a going concern – which means keeping local mills open, too.  So I buy my flour from Westwind Milling and quit feeding my wheat crop to the deer.



  1. Alan said,

    January 30, 2011 at 11:12 am

    It’s all about networking (which is a bloody hard bit of work…)!

    You don’t have to be a farmer (or a dentist – thank the gods…) but you do have to actively make a choice, and often the choice is for less convienience. Building a local system takes a lot of work from both the producers and from the consumers. That is one of the big differences between the current system and a healthy local system. We (consumers, and producers) have to be active in promoting and supporting the local option.

  2. Cait said,

    January 31, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I love home grown vegetables. so fresh and tasty! and yea, healthy organic food!

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