DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET

Even as the year moves toward the season of winter, any many gardens have been touched by frost, we are still harvesting crops of bush beans! As I mentioned in a prior diary post, the cukes and winter, summer squashes did poorly. So one of the bright spots we have had this year are the beans — they continue to keep producing… and producing!

What a wonderful blessing it is to have meals with fresh beans in this hiatus between summer and fall crops.

Since I’m on the subject of growing food, I’d like to add to Mairi’s Oct 2-4 posting. She questions how well she can implement Jeavon’s method of growing a vegetarian diet on approx 4,000 square feet. (Note: this figure pertains to a single person’s needs)

It’s quite a challenge that includes a lot of work in both mental and physical aspects. From our experience on our small urban lot (and we are in a fortunate situation – climate-wise) it is really impossible to grow our complete diet. Often some crops are so meager there’s not enough to go around to feed five people. While we do grow a constant supply of seasonal veggies and have the method pretty much down-pat, there’s still fruit and, of course, staples which are needed to complete a healthful diet. And to be honest, it gets a bit tiring eating exclusively from the garden so we have to try out different recipes. We have cravings or needs for things we are unable to grow. Until the fruit trees get older, we have to supplement with outside sources and buy staples such as flour, dried beans and so on. But we try our best to purchase state or locally grown.

I guess we have been rather successful in growing our own seasonal veggies year ’round. Although, we’d like a bit more land to grow even more sweet corn, melons and winter squash – we try to do our best with what we have.

After crunching some numbers it turns out that we’re harvesting ~ 1# per square foot ( ~ 4,000 sq under cultivation). As it is possible to replicate what we’re doing here on a larger scale (for us five, 20,000 sq ft) and, as Jeavon’s states, actually grow what you eat! Amazing!

As I think about growing food, I ponder how ancient tribes and civilizations survived by eating the same old diet. Wouldn’t it be pretty monotonous? Before trade and commerce, peoples in certain parts of the world would have never tasted or heard of a banana or even a taco? With the massive variety of foods from all over the world in our supermarkets and the merging of cuisines, it’s quite an interesting topic to explore, don’t you think?

Weather Report: Cool mornings, warm days.

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  1. Alex says:

    This is old but whatever. I think ancients could survive on monotany in diet because thy didnt live to eat like we do. If you think of food as fuel then it’s easy to eat the same thing every day.

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