Friday, July 1, 2011

The cost of food and other eating worries.

I grow some greens here. Within weeks, or as soon as it gets warm enough, everything goes to seed. Yeah! I can pick my greens before they mature;or I can work out a succession of plantings; or, I can let the plant go to seed, and hope the seed will sprout for another season. It sounds so easy.

I can't imagine doing this for all my food needs. Yet, my father did that, and grew enough olives and grapes to buy whatever he couldn't grow. His days were long and arduous, back-breaking job for everyone in the family. What he didn't want was for us, the new generation, to do the same thing he did for a living. He insisted farming was not a good profession.

Many family farms cannot survive on what they grow or raise.  Everyone in our small town who owns land or ranch pastures has a spouse with another job, to pay the mortgage, to cover medical expenses.  So, why is it that once we could support our families on a family farm, and we can no longer do that?

Our costs are skewed too. We pay more for medical insurance monthly, than we pay to feed our family.
We pay more for a new car than a year of education.
We pay $3 for a Starbucks specialty coffee, but think  bread should not cost that much.
We import grapes from who knows where and fire our illegal workers  who pick our local grapes.

So much to sort out.
So much at stake.
And we have not even started talking about all the diets out there.
Have a great weekend, wherever you are.
Eat well. Eat locally. Grow what you can.


  1. My husband grew up on a farm in Illinois. He knows the backbreaking work it is to work 365 days a year! Between caring for the animals and working the fields there was no day off. He has always maintained that we do not pay enough for our food.
    We who have gardens, do so for the pleasure of raising our own food and to be close to the soil and know where our food comes from. But our garden always has a back-up plan. If a plant doesn't produce, I can go to a Farmers' Market or, as a last resort, a market. Imagine if all we had was what we produced.

  2. Very thought-provoking, Rosaria! So much to sort out, indeed! Thanks to you and your earlier posts, I'm starting to grow my own as much as possible.

  3. If the food prices keep going up, people will have to grow their own again. Might be a blessing in disguise. Have a wonderful holiday!

  4. we have a small garden and needs to be bigger. even our small garden is a lot of work. but I so enjoy picking my food and eating it.

    my husband read somewhere that the small self-sufficient family farm was a myth. that it is near impossible to grow enough to feed yourself and have the extra needed to buy the things you cannot make or grow for yourself. it was a myth expounded by the government to get people to leave the cities and go homestead, expanding the country and it's why most of them failed.

  5. I thought that I had commented on this before but I see it is not here so.....
    I grow as much as I can, and when I am here alone, I can pretty much survive off the garden. Well usually that is! This year we have had no rain since March and the cost of mains water is ridiculous, the plants are suffering badly and yes, with the heat many are just going to seed so quickly. I wish I had not planted this year as the cost is just soaring. Diane