I went grocery shopping today with my husband. We picked up some personal things like toothpaste, a few cleaning items, a gallon of milk, chicken – nothing crazy or particularly special. The bill just floored me. All I can say is, I am glad I am not trying to feed a family these days. I have decided I need to follow a diet for the new depression. I will call it beans ‘n greens.
I heard somewhere that the average american diet during the depression was superior in nutritional value to the later post-war diet. The diet during the depression had a lot of beans, lots of home grown vegetables. The post war diet born of affluence had lots of processed foods, lots of meat. You know, the one that has morphed into the insanity that is now producing children with a projected life span that is less than that of their parents. And this leads me to the garden. I also purchased a few packets of good old Burpee’s Seeds at the grocery store today. Everything was 40% off. I spent about 5 bucks on Radishes, Escarole, Broccoli Raab, Sweet Basil and something simply labeled Lettuce. These will provide enough fresh produce to fill the salad bowl for at least a month. For five dollars. Something to think about the next time the prices at the checkout counter make you want to faint.
I am not a particularly gifted gardener. I am not particularly disciplined. I forget to water things sometimes. I can be downright neglectful, and yet I have fresh salad greens almost year round. I love that about vegetables. I love that I am the one growing them, that they are organic. I love that I can collect greens fresh out of the garden, and have them in my tummy 15 minutes after they have been picked. A bit of water, some great dirt and wham, here they come. If you grow grass, you can grow salad greens – no doubt. So why not lose some of that lawn and put in a couple of garden beds?
It is a simple thing to do. Nothing fancy here at all and it works like a charm. My garden beds are 2×10 lumber in 8 ft lengths. Cheap. Raising the bed is a win-win: the drainage is excellent, the weeds are minimal, and the garden is very low maintenance – for me this is essential. Give it a try; if I can do it, so can you.