Anyone remember the musical Oliiver? Food Glorious Food. I was in the chorus of this musical in summer stock in high school This is the refrain that ran through my head today as I watched dozens of people walk into to an already popular class called Eating From Your Garden from April until November. I wasn't kidding when I made up that title. That's what I do, actually eating from March into December and beyond at this point .
I was SO THRILLED with the response to this class. People are hungry (no pun intended) for every scrap of information I can put forth on the subject of growing food. Why? Well, it hits a very deep chord in the human psyche, that's for sure. AND, we are all worried about poisons, genetically modified organisms (gmos's) and other creepy things happening to our food supply that we don't understand and that scare us.
That aside, we all have a primal urge to grow food. It's in our DNA. It always brings me back to reality when I teach a class like this. Most people just are hungry for the basics. Succession cropping. Rotation of crop families. Testing the soil. Understanding how to deal with pests organically. Basic stuff that I take for granted, as does my staff. Yet, we realize over and over that our job is to teach the basics to people who just simply say "Help me learn to grow my own food". For me, it is simple. I want to know my food isn't grown with poisons and doesn't contain genetically modified organisms (gmo's). I want to KNOW where my food comes from. It is, when you really thing about it, the staff of life, the substance I am made of. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
We take food for granted. We waltz into the local grocery store and buy strawberries in January. Where are they from? How were they grown? If we dare to ask those questions, it is a different reality. In my world, yes, you can enjoy strawberries in January at a special occasion party in the winter, but strawberries are a JUNE celebration! Radishes in July in CT? That ain't natural. Once you've grown radishes, you will know that. So, get into the rhythm of growing food and you will never shop at the grocery store with the same mindset again.
The point is, if you eat food in CT you should understand the food that grows in CT. The more you understand it, the more you will want to eat locally and in season. Even if you don't have the time or the yard or the inclination to grow any of your own food, you can still be aware of how it is produced and what is natural in this climate, in this state, in the various months that we can grow and harvest food. With that in mind, look to your local farmer's markets, C.S.A's (Community Supported Agriculture programs), and anyone else that supports local food production in CT. Support them with your dollars, your emails, your blogs, your facebook posts, and anything else in your power to move the local, organic food movement forward in our state. This is about our health, our well being, and the fabric of our communities. This is REALLY IMPORTANT right now. Spring is almost here. Vote with your voice and your buying power to make the CT organic local food economy strong and healthy in 2012 ,