We have been so inspired at times, and yet so angered at times, by what is available to eat around here. Due to both our frustration and for wanting to be a part of the solution, we started to grow some of our own food. When I say “around here,” I mean Seattle and the region we call Cascadia. Click the tag Cascadia to see my posts featuring regional foods and issues.
We had other reasons, too, like the cost of food, the environmental benefits of growing organic food, and Seattle’s encouraging urban gardening scene. We are vegetarians, and we spend most of our money on the green stuff — vegetables, herbs, and fruits!
I mentioned in my post on Earth Day, 2008 that I would be at Seattle Tilth’s Annual Edible Plant Sale, and I was, and it was wonderful! My shopping list got longer as we walked through rows and rows of edible plants on a cold and rainy day. I really wished I had a rainproof camera that day, just to document how much fun it was to be in Seattle. It was the part of the city I really enjoy and appreciate being a part of. Little kids played in the dirt, while parents and others shopped away among aisles of edible plants. The smell of sweet, vegan Mighty O Donuts frying in the background filled the air. It rained softly, steadily, and the plants actually seemed happy.
As always, a bit of rain did not dampen the spirits of Seattleites — who are proud of their environment, and take every chance they get to make it better. A lot of people (and I mean a LOT of people!) grow their own food in this city. Many attempt to live sustainably and eat healthy, organic produce. Even so, I still know some who simply don’t care, and even some who think global warming is a myth!
The biggest step most of us can take toward a sustainable food system is probably to eat more local foods, and that includes growing our own food. Around here we have many P-Patches or community gardens and CSAs or Community Supported Agriculture programs. We also have abundant natural and educational resources for growing our own beautiful food. So why not give it a shot?!
I am reading and hearing only more about how governments allow corporations to market harmful and untested foods — for the skinny on that, read the book Skinny Bitch … I am almost through it and will probably blog about it more some day. I am disgusted by how politics has controlled what we eat, trading our health for corporate profit and our future for their short-term gains — we so need better local and national Farm Bills! At least around here, Farm to School laws and related government action continues to change for the better.
I know that I cannot honestly avoid every single, disagreeable ingredient if I want to casually, socially eat where I work and play. My husband and I do vote with our dollars by supporting restaurants we know are using local, organic, and otherwise sustainable foods. When we eat home-prepared foods, though, we control whatwe grow and how, or what we buy and from whom.
Gardening really does have a fun side to it, besides. You anticipate the warm summer all the more when you have a garden you are rooting for and a harvest to look forward to. It has already been fun eating our food, with how much effort and love we put into it. As beginning gardeners, we are appreciating and learning more from our local farmers when we visit farmers’ markets, too. They have always been happy to answer questions and encourage us along the way 🙂
Our Edible Garden is:
- Sungold Tomatoes — see my Sungold Orange Marinara
- Yellow and Green Summer Squashes, AKA Zucchini
- Tri-star Strawberries — see my Strawberries on Biscuits
- Siegerrebe Grapes
- Greek Oregano — see my Orzo Stuffed Zucchini
- English Thyme — see my Stuffed Sun Isand Squash
- Garlic Chives
- Spearmint — see my Chilled Mint Tea
- Applemint — see my Applemint Gimlet
- Mint Julep — see my Mango Power Pop and Fizz
- Purple Basil
- Italian Basil — see my Simple Basil Syrup
- Thai Hot Peppers
- Edelweiss Lavender