Even though thick sheets of snow and ice cover the ground outside, memories of last year’s garden still grace the plate at every meal. This morning’s breakfast included homegrown red beets fermented to perfection, homegrown sweet potatoes canned without any preservatives, salt or anything else that would deteriorate the natural goodness. A hard boiled egg pickled with the red beets and sautéed baby spinach with nutritional yeast flakes complemented the plate with color and flavor. Would you agree this is a better alternative to high fructose corn syrup cereal?
In some parts of the world, people can grow food all year long due to the climate. This isn’t the case in the Northeast United States. The growing season is limited to a few months, so the only way to enjoy food all year is through preservation (or via indoor agriculture methods). Freezing, canning, dehydration and fermentation are methods that can be used to retain nutrition and flavor without a considerable time or financial commitment. Homegrown food, with a little advanced preparation, is a convenience food without the environmentally unfriendly packaging and associated waste.
Because there is an investment in homegrown food–from the planning, planting, nurturing, harvesting and preparation standpoint–there is less risk of food waste. Would you even consider throwing away a tomato that you helped “birth” from seed to plant to delicious vine-ripened fruit? Unlikely. Would you discard half a jar of green beans that you grew, picked one by one, cleaned, cut, jarred and pressure cooked for 30 minutes? Probably not.
Having something homegrown on the plate doesn’t leave room for other alternatives that may include foods that are highly processed, high in sugar or loaded with preservatives. Using efficient food preservation methods supports environmentally friendly packaging (mason jars, reusable freezer containers) and lowers the risk of food waste thanks to the up-front personal investment. By incorporating something homegrown into every meal, the garden can be enjoyed all year, promote better health and reduce packaging and food waste.
©Room2GrowGarden.com, February 9, 2018