If you’ve seen our short Homegrown Revolution film (now available on DVD – purchase your copy here) where I say that we are “directly and indirectly self sufficient” from our little 1/10 plot here in the city.

BTW, the HGR film is NOT the same one that’s on YouTube (view here)  which has over 318,000 views! It’s been expanded and revised to include a section on citified animals and a walking tour of the backyard farm!

What food we don’t grow ourselves we sell the surplus to bring in income to purchase staples like flour, rice, oats, etc.  Growing food for food!

These days business is picking up at our little front porch farm stand and that certainly helps cover our basic necessities.

We try to keep our staples simple – just like our pioneer counterparts.    Eating from the garden and in season we’ve learned that real food practically speaks for itself – no need for extra ingredients.  And with simple, basic staples you learn how it was to live in a simpler time.  Food was food.  There were no/not much choices when it came to food preparation.

How on earth did they survive?  Have you ever looked at an old fashion cookbook – the ingredients are pretty darn simple.  We find that by eating simply, we appreciate food more.

One of our urban farmstand clients, who’s picking up food on a weekly basis and learning how to use and cook “real foods” asked me, “so what spices to you recommend?”  I had to pause a minute and think, “spices, huh?”  I went on to say that I really don’t have to use spices in the cooking that the food speaks for itself.   Of course, “I use herbs” I told him.  But when you have real food picked within minutes of preparation there’s no need to mask the intense flavor with spices.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I make a mean spanish rice that requires some kickin’ hot spices!  *grin*

The same client gave us a gift of almond butter (thanks!) and we gals felt like Laura Ingalls savoring that orange during the holidays.  Or what about tasting the first ever tomato of the season – warm by the sun.   Our taste buds have been dulled, because of our 24/7 food culture – nothing is special.

How can you appreciate your food more?

Take steps backwards, take stock what’s in your fridge and pantry (we did a fun challenge a few years back “SAY AHHH“)

Since food miles/lines have been blurred by modern transportation, one question we ask ourselves to help with determining what we do purchase, “could this be grown in our area?”

Perhaps you can’t grow all your food, but grow what you can.  That’s the key word – what you “can.”  One size doesn’t fit all and you have to take the steps in your life that fit your situation.  “Don’t compare yourself with others.  Compare yourself with what you were yesterday,” as Farmer D says.

We put a “homegrown” twist on the popular “Locavore Pledge” to say:

If not from backyard, then locally produced

If not locally produced, then organic.
If not organic, then family farm.
If not family farm, then local business.
If not local business, then fair trade.

Don’t forget! Keep it simple, keep it real.

PS Speaking  of challenges with so many blogs these day’s doing them, wonder if there’s any interest in doing one of our own here at LHITC.  And if so what’s sort of one that’s not already been/being done?

Any thoughts?


  1. Jennifer says:

    I’d love to do a challenge! This is our first year trying to grow our own produce and we’d love a little push!

    PS- Where can you buy the movie on DVD? I saw screening at our film festival, but I would love to share it with the family gardening program that we’re facilitating this year.

  2. Sarah says:

    Yes, any challenge to keep each other accountable is wonderful. I have no new ideas, but I think you could definitely improve on some here on YOUR site. It really is an encouragement to know you are going to put your pics on here for everyone to see!!!

    Look forward to see what will happen! 🙂

  3. Sarah says:

    Wait, I DO have an idea! 😉

    How about something for everyone: “Take the Next Step”, encouraging everyone, wherever they are in their journey, to take one more step toward their goal!

    I think people at ANY stage could participate in that! 🙂

  4. Michele says:


    Where did you get those amazing square jars in your bulk staples pantry? I have been looking all over for a large wide mouth solution to the mess in organizing my pantry but cannot find anything around me.

    By the way, I use your blog posts to sometimes motivate my children to help me in the garden. It’s easy for young ones to lose sight of why we ask them to come help and learn in our garden, but your posts are so interesting to them that they always become reinvigorated to try and help. You inspire young and “old” alike.

    Thank you.

  5. Laura says:

    Wow! This post was exactly what I’ve been thinking lately. Due to a recent discovery of food allergies at our house we’ve not been eating very many (if any) processed foods. We’ve always gardened and just stepped it up a little this year so it’s not a lot to panic about. However, I noticed my children are starting to eat more at meals without complaining. They are eating healthier food and not complaining about the taste. Imagine, taking out al processed foods and all foods start to taste better…that is exactly what has happened.

  6. Chiot's Run says:

    I love a good challenge. We are just finishing the Real Food Challenge over at Not Dabbling in Normal and it was a HUGE hit. Of course we’re all going to continue striving to eat real food for our lifetimes, but something a challenge is a great way to kick-start a lifestyle.

    Perhaps a grow your own challenge.

  7. Stephany says:

    That was a lot of fun! If you come up with another, I will be sure to play.

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