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Stocking The Larder

August 29th, 2012

Yesterday, I spent some time cleaning the ‘Red Zepellin’ onions that were harvested a few weeks ago. They’ve been drying in the warm garage and it was time to move them to the basement pantry. These plants were grown from plants purchased from Johnny’s Seeds.

While trimming the roots and stalks off the bulbs, I was thinking about the security that growing your own food provides. Knowing that you can provide at least a small amount of nourishment for your family is truly priceless.

Sometimes when people mention that they can buy food so cheaply at the grocery it’s not worth the effort of growing it, I just shake my head. Sure, you can save money tending an edible garden, but the money saved pales in comparison to the other intangible value it provides to our lives. Besides peace and relaxation, the feeling of security is what I notice most when I’m tending the garden and harvesting food for our table. Knowing that I can keep food on our plates from tending the earth is deeply satisfying.

What intangible benefits of edible gardening do you value the most?

20 Comments to “Stocking The Larder”
  1. Kathi Cook on August 29, 2012 at 7:02 am

    I love knowing that the food I am eating was just growing in the earth an hour before I ate it.

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  2. Victoria on August 29, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Gardening also connects me back to my roots. Every time I surprise my dad with fresh veg or something home canned, he has a story about my Great Grandmother. The soil & veg is a strong connection to someone I never knew, but often think of.

    Reply to Victoria's comment

  3. Julia on August 29, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I sit in front of a computer for a good portion of my day, so spending time outdoors, watching seeds grow, seeing my work (and the plant’s work) grow into something real, that’s why I do this. Keeps me sane!

    Not to mention, a tomato from the grocery store can never taste as good as one freshly picked from your backyard.

    Reply to Julia's comment

  4. Rhonda on August 29, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Every time I go into the basement and see the shallots, onions and potatoes, I smile to myself. This was my first year to grow all of them (successfully) and I will continue to grow many more in the future.

    I feel good knowing that not only do I have the food here, but I know that NOTHING has been put on them. Just soil, water, sunshine, hope, prayer and love.

    Reply to Rhonda's comment

  5. angie h on August 29, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I love knowing exactly where my food came from and doing the work yourself makes it taste even better…I think the fruits of your own labor are always sweeter! I love the feeling of self sufficiency!

    The onions are gorgeous! I love the braids :) Do you build your little crates you use?

    Reply to angie h's comment

  6. Eat Already! on August 29, 2012 at 8:09 am

    For me, gardening is the greatest teacher of patience and persistence.
    It also teaches you understanding the difference between things you can and cannot control, and as a result, you learn to let go when you need to let go. I think that’s called serenity.

    Reply to Eat Already!'s comment

  7. Melissa on August 29, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I love the security that gardening brings, but the number one reason I garden is still taste- if those people buying cheap food could taste what comes out of a garden on a daily basis, they would never go back!

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  8. Teresa on August 29, 2012 at 9:27 am

    My husband eats and enjoys garden and CSA produce, which is one of the main benefits of edible gardening for me. That and I like knowing that in case of a zombie apocolypse, I’ll at least have food on hand.

    Reply to Teresa's comment

  9. Donna B. on August 29, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I SO agree.
    Sure, you can buy a bag of potatoes at the grocery store for five bucks that’ll last maybe two weeks [determining on your eating habits.] but the satisfaction of eating what you grew topples the thought of “cost”… I haven’t been very successful lately with onions/potatoes… but I plan on giving them their own space next year, and really trying hard to succeed!
    I’ve even placed an order for Filaree garlic and plan on digging up a new bed just for them! Can’t wait!

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

  10. Sarah R on August 29, 2012 at 11:18 am

    There are so many reasons I love gardening. For one thing, there’s nothing quite as tasty as a fresh, homegrown tomato. The physical labor and tangible results of gardening are amazingly satisfying after days spent in an office at the computer. It feels know that the growing of our food has been kind to the earth and is healthy for our bodies. The pride and satisfaction of filling the family’s needs with our own two hands is beyond compare. And, honestly, when I sit back and think about the process, starting with a tiny speck of a seed and ending with a full meal on the table, I still feel a spark of magic. And, in my book, it’s hard to find anything more worthwhile than that!

    Reply to Sarah R's comment

  11. Marcia on August 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Since my income is greatly reduced during the summer, I get a sence of security from gardening. I can still contribute to the household with something we need everyday and would otherwise need to purchase; food. This allows me to hold my head high and keep my dignity as a provider.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

  12. KimP on August 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I love not having to put onions, potatoes, etc. on the grocery list. I don’t even have to think about whether I have them or not because I just know I have plenty tucked away. At least until spring comes. ;)

    Reply to KimP's comment

  13. Sandra on August 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I love that my children know how things grow. Example they know that onions like the ones you picture grow under the dirt and not in a factory :0)

    Reply to Sandra's comment

  14. jennifer fisk on August 29, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I know that anything from my garden has been grown without chemical fertilizers or nasty pesticides. When I eat some off my produce in the winter, I know it was frozen within minutes of its picking. When I eat chicken, turkey or rabbit from my freezer, I know it lived a great life and was slaughtered humanely. A full freezer of food I raised is such a comfort.

    Reply to jennifer fisk's comment

  15. cherise on August 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Thanks for the motivation. I have to be honest, juggling work, kids and a garden is difficult. Last year I gave up after Hurricane Irene came through and destroyed much of it. It took me all winter to recover from the loss and have the desire to plant again. It was the first January I did not look at one seed magazine. I waited almost until Spring. But, the lack of home-grown foods was where I suffered the most. I had no spaghetti sauce, no pickles, no applesauce, it had all been used up the previous year. Yes, I can buy produce cheap, but, nothing compares to knowing where it came from, how it was tended, and that you have the ability to feed yourself and your family. I am the gardener in the family, I have little help. It has been difficult to keep up with the harvest while working more than usual. There have been a lot of things I’ve let go to seed. But, even that is not a total loss because I will have plenty of seed to grow it again next year and even more to share with friends and family. Thanks for reminding me that we do this for intangible benefits as well as tangible. After a long day of harvesting, cleaning and canning I needed that today. Some days you just lose sight.

    Reply to cherise's comment

  16. Rick on August 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I don’t even think about the money savings when I plant my garden. Sure I save money, especially over organic veggies in the grocery store. But for me it’s all about being self sufficient. There is just something about knowing that I grew it myself! It makes all the hard work worth it!!

    Reply to Rick's comment

  17. Margie Clyde on August 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    I enjoy reading your blog and admire you for your daily postings. I find it wonderful to grow our own food, and find it even funner to sell what I have grown at the Farmer’s Market!

    Reply to Margie Clyde's comment

  18. Issa Waters on August 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I love gardening for the simple beauty of it. Look at that onion braid! Gorgeous! I love the colors, the textures, the smells. Gardening is a sensory experience that isn’t easily matched elsewhere.

    Reply to Issa Waters's comment

  19. Norma on August 30, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I think you can save a lot of money and have more security if you grow plants that you use and eat regularly. Especially if they are easy to grow. For example, this winter I have had only 8 plants of brocollini (use the leaves as well, delicious when lightly blanches) and 8 plants of Silverbeet and these have given me enough greens that I haven’t had to buy frozen peas or beans for more than 4 months, for a family.
    Now that is a saving! I’ve substituted these in stir fries and all.
    I think growing easy plants, but doing the dusk garden scavage before meal time is important.

    Reply to Norma's comment

  20. Dawn on August 31, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I couldn’t agree more. I feel like my wealth growing when I harvest vegetables and fruits from my garden. It’s the polar opposite feeling when I purchase them at the grocer.

    Reply to Dawn's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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