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Sustainable Alternatives: AP Article today on "Recession Gardens"

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Forum: Sustainable AlternativesReplies: 20, Views: 183
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dmcdevitt
Schroon Lake, NY
(Zone 4a)

March 15, 2009
6:32 PM

Post #6271129

Interesting! On a number of forums we've speculated on how much gardening we'll all do, due to the economy.

Well, the recession gardens are beginning, and seeds are selling out. I for one am glad, that people are waking up to the possibilities!

http://my.earthlink.net/article/nat?guid=20090315/49bc8b50_3421_1334520090315-977970891
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

March 15, 2009
7:23 PM

Post #6271329

Now if they just had seeds for dogfood. It has gone up 50% at my local store.

A 5$ loaf of bread and 2.50$ for a jug of milk. If that doesn't turn people to gardening I don't know what will. Of course dogfood, bread and milk don't grow in the garden!
dmcdevitt
Schroon Lake, NY
(Zone 4a)

March 15, 2009
7:40 PM

Post #6271407

Hmmm dogfood seeds WOULD be good!! Maybe they could eat squirrel? We know good bread is easy to make, and I use powdered milk for baking rather than "real" milk.

But if you don't eat much meat, like me, I guess you have no leftovers for the dogs and that means... buy it!
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

March 16, 2009
1:09 AM

Post #6272942

Notice: The link above seems to have some Win32 malware in it.
kathy65468
Eunice, MO
(Zone 5b)

April 2, 2009
11:09 PM

Post #6356397

I quit gardening a few years ago. Wihout a house full of kids to feed, it did not seem worth the work and gardning is not cheap. Seemed almost cheaper to buy the food when it is on sale.
This year I have seed planted and more to plant and am looking forward to fresh food and good flavor. I cannot afford grocery store prices any more.
Maybe if the veggies come from the garden I can afford the milk from the store.
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

April 2, 2009
11:22 PM

Post #6356500

Me too. I live alone - with 2 dogs, 1 1/2 cats, and 1 rabbit. Im looking into putting in some 4 x 4s potager style. The fresh food at the store is not fresh and last year I had salmonella. I don't trust it.
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 3, 2009
12:03 AM

Post #6356687

gloria, 1 lb of flour will make a standard sized loaf of bread (or it's hearth loaf equivalent).
If you use a slow ripened dough (~12 hrs for the first rise), you don't need to do a lot of kneading, the phytates will broken down and the loaf will be more nutritious. Bread made with a slow ripened dough also has better keeping qualities and is more flavourful.
You may want to consider baking your own.
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

April 3, 2009
12:12 AM

Post #6356740

Garden Mermaid: I do make my own bread. Usually it is not slow rise though. I use multigrain mixes from King Arthur Flour in my bread machine. Occasionally I do buy a loaf of bread at the store if I can find a good multigrain loaf - not easy in this part of the world where natives consider "bread" to be "biscuits" - usually from a can of pre-made Pillsbury Biscuits.

I have a convection oven and usually bake the loaf there instead of in the bread machine - it does all the kneading though.
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 3, 2009
12:59 AM

Post #6356940

mea culpa gloria. You had mentioned a $5 loaf of bread, so I thought that was what you were finding at your local store. Price per loaf varies widely by region.
twiggybuds
Moss Point, MS
(Zone 8b)

April 3, 2009
3:45 AM

Post #6357692

I have a list of reasons I'm concentrating on food this year instead of flowers.

I disapprove of and don't trust our ag system and would like to avoid supporting it as much as possible.

I've spent so much on seeds and other supplies that $ won't be saved this year. However, I plan to save seeds, reuse pots, potting soil, dehydrator, etc., so I look at it as an investment in my future and it's comforting.

Health benefits are immeasurable and more for me than most. Some of you may remember that I'm disabled. This means that my physical world is my house and garden. It keeps me occupied mentally and physically at something I enjoy doing. Plus I only get groceries every 3 weeks on average, so if I want fresh, I have to make it happen. It's also very important that I prove to myself and everyone else that in spite of the difficulty I can still maintain some self sufficiency. Too many handicapped people mope around feeling useless and I just wish I could light their fire.

A recession garden is a great idea for everybody and I truly hope many of these new gardeners get turned on for life. They'll be so much better for it. It seems to me that there's been a lot of new subscribers appearing on DG lately. Is it my imagination or a real sign of the times?

Some of you might remember my water beds from last year. Here's what's going on with some of the tomatoes. Plenty for me and plenty to share, I hope.

Thumbnail by twiggybuds
Click the image for an enlarged view.

garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 3, 2009
4:37 AM

Post #6357824

twiggybuds, you are an inspiration!
Lovely garden too.

Our farmers markets have been getting more and more crowded. I think you are right that more and more folks are disenchanted with our current ag system. The local hardware store sold out of canning bottles and equipment last fall. That was a first in their long history. More and more food preservation classes are showing up in this area as well. They sell out quickly.
dmcdevitt
Schroon Lake, NY
(Zone 4a)

April 3, 2009
12:13 PM

Post #6358433

Nice garden twiggy! Yes you have an investment that will pay back over years.

Another point when people say that food is as cheap or cheaper in stores: I expect we will be seeing inflation kick in within the year. You cannot triple the supply of money that is printed and have it hold its value.

When I put blueberry plants in 5 years ago, blueberries would run around 99 cents a pint in season. Last year they never got below 2.99 even at the pick your own places. Obviously the price point has changed, and my plants are settled in and producing well, as they should for another 50 years... plus I can pick and use them very fresh and plan around their ripening.

Likewise potatoes. THey used to be 33 cents a pound when I started, now I can't even find Yukon Golds, or the fingerlings we like. And who knows what chemicals they may have in them.
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

April 3, 2009
1:42 PM

Post #6358721

I live in a rural area - once an agricultural center for the Nation. But there are no farmers markets here. The nearest one is some 30 miles away. The food in the store is not fresh. Lettuce in a bag invariably already has some rotted leaves and doesn't smell very appetizing anyway (!).

If you want fresh food you would have to grow it yourself. I am amazed that people can stay healthy at all - and a lot of them aren't. There is a lot of obesity and a lot of people just have chronic illnesses.

There are a couple of enterprizing souls who go to the market in Birmingham and bring a truck of fresh vegetables - usually just one or two kinds though like a load of sweet potatoes or a load of watermelons.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2009
2:22 PM

Post #6358876

It will be several years before any of the fruits I have planted (and the ones on order) really come to fruition. I just hope by then I will still be physically able to get outside and pick them.

Meanwhile, I am growing what vegetables I can, and enlarging the garden space a tad every year. I doubt I break even financially, mostly because of the initial expense of turning lawn into vegetable garden. However, the peace of mind of eating safe, quality foods has value I cannot count.

This will be my third summer harvest and I'm learning how much and what to grow that will be eaten or shared over winter. I don't have it down pat yet...

I also don't know what's available and at what cost in the grocers here anymore other than the milk and cat food I buy. I don't even go down most of the other aisles..
dmcdevitt
Schroon Lake, NY
(Zone 4a)

April 3, 2009
2:39 PM

Post #6358947

I tossed mesclun (salad mix) seed into 24 pots and it sprang it up 3 days...I'm putting it under lights the next few days (we're expecting snow to mix in the rain) and then it can go out, days.

Mesclun is $7.99/lb here and can easily grow on a windowsill, and can be cut in a few weeks.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2009
2:48 PM

Post #6358991

Cool!
grownut
Clarkson, KY

April 3, 2009
2:55 PM

Post #6359024

Gloria -very late to this thread here and I have only scanned it, but you might find chickens to be a decent solution to the dog food dilemma. A flock of about 5, free range should provide enough egg for your pups' protein needs. The more freely they range the less supplemental food they need (chickens) and a bit of egg mixed into your leftovers should give your dogs a fairly well balanced meal. Of course you would need to protect your gardens and produce leftovers, but...
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

April 3, 2009
3:44 PM

Post #6359240

And of course I would have to protect the chickens from the dogs . . .

I guess I could buy eggs. I have been making waffles with extra dry milk, and oat bran in there and cooking until they have a certain amount of crunch. The dogs seems to like these - especially with a big slodge of butter!

One of my dogs is male and is getting up in age. As a puppy he was hit by a truck and had a hip replacement. I like to take special care of him. So far he doesn't seem to have athritis, but I like to make sure he stays as healthy as possible.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

April 3, 2009
5:00 PM

Post #6359546

Nice thread!

Twiggy, beautiful garden!
dparsons01
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7b)

April 3, 2009
5:13 PM

Post #6359589

Nice garden Twiggy. You appear to have quite a bit of space.

On cost of the food, I would factor in the nutritional component. Fresh fruit and vegetables, grown using sustainable practices and picked ripe will do your body better than the stuff in the grocery store. It may even save you some health problems and that will quickly pay for the mods to the garden.
grownut
Clarkson, KY

April 3, 2009
9:04 PM

Post #6360483

Beautiful garden, Twiggy! {{how I missed that!}}

One egg is a great compliment to any beans rice and veggie mash. I often give my dogs leftover stew. With an extra egg.

sorry 'bout the side topic...ciao

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