This is the fifth part of a series covering my experience with food insecurity. For the introduction to this series, please click here.

When we lived in an apartment, I would roll my eyes at every blog that made it seem like everyone can just grow a garden. Then my husband’s job was outsourced overseas and we were faced with a two-year unemployment gap for him. I was able to go back to work as a data entryist, but that didn’t pay much more than minimum wage.

At the same time, my friend started a hashtag: #growfoodnotyards. From her, I learned about container gardens. Now it wasn’t possible for me to go out and buy everything that I needed to have a big beautiful container garden. I found 2 containers on the side of the street the night before garbage day. Yes, I started my container garden from someone else’s trash. I also ended up using a tire for a tomato plant. It wasn’t much, but when you live in a food desert {an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food}, you have to do what you have to do. Grow their own food.jpg

At this time we also started composting. Granted it was in a two-liter bottle and was more of a science project than a garden thing. But now we have a whole tire system (yes, I reuse our old tires and yes, I realize that this makes my garden “non-organic”. When you are in survival mode, who gives a f@#$ about being organic?) for my compost heap. It’s super easy to start one and I highly recommend all homeschoolers to at least do a compost bottle once so that your kids get an idea of how things break down. I use it to add nutrients to my small ‘victory’ garden.

Now that we own a house, we have a little garden in our own backyard. I check out seeds from the local library- yeah, our library has a seed library. You “check them out” and then you harvest some of the seeds from the food that you grew and return them -and the kids help me grow them.  I grew up helping in our family garden and, since I have made life skills a huge part of our homeschool, the kids have to help me in ours. It’s important that kids learn how to grow their own food to fight future food insecurity. No one is 100% safe from food insecurity.

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Auggie with his little hoe and Blippi hat.

If you aren’t able to “check out” seeds, buy them at your local dollar store. You can even buy potting soil at dollar stores. It doesn’t take a lot of money to start a small garden. Even if you just plant one type of seed, you are taking a step towards food security.

So, readers, that is one thing I would like everyone to do. Plant some food after you finish reading this. Whether it be a full out garden or even in a coffee tin, plant something. Take steps towards securing your own food security.

Tomorrow we will explore accepting help when you need it.

2 thoughts on “Surviving Food Insecurity- grow your own

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