Newly transplanted asparagus plants in our fall garden.
Newly transplanted asparagus plants in our fall garden.

It’s official.  We are now year round gardeners. This weekend we put in our first winter garden.  We’re looking forward to fresh lettuce and collards.  And next spring, asparagus and rhubarb! Sadly, our schedule prevented our preparing our beds for the fall sooner, and our broccoli plants died.  (My husband says that’s fine, he never really liked broccoli. Twenty-eight years of marriage and countless broccoli dishes at the dinner table, and now he tells me!)

My husband is shocked in my new interest in gardening; doing the actual work, not just enjoying the fruits of his gardening labors.  Slowly we’ve been adding edible landscaping: a blue berry hedge, a large pot of strawberry plants, using pots of herbs to decorate our patio (I finally found the right spot for our rosemary bushes).  Now he’s even extended our garden beds into two near areas in our yard.  Digging up more lawn?  Maybe we’ll get a fruit tree after all.

Years ago we stopped vegetable gardening because food was cheap.  A lawn was prettier.  We wanted to spend our time on other things.  Now, our garden is much more than a hobby.  It’s our little stand for food freedom.

Recent political events and a struggling economy told me that it was time to become more self-sufficient.  The last straw for me were the attacks on small farmers property rights by the big agribusiness and the genetically modified food lobby.   I’m angry that GMO foods are not required to be labelled. The animals that produce meat, eggs and dairy are fed pharmaceuticals that my family will ultimately ingest. Commercially grown chickens are fed arsenic.   For all of the science of food production, it’s more expensive, artificial, and unhealthy than ever before.  Unbelievably, the FDA says it’s all safe.

We can’t trust the food supply anymore.  People are getting sick on food that should be healthy. The produce in the grocery stores is weeks old before you buy it. Processed foods can’t really be digested and can negatively impact our immune system, metabolism, and even brain function.  Our culture creates disease through poor nutrition.  It’s been said many times: we are overfed and undernourished.

For our family, growing more of our own food is more than increasing our nutrition.  It’s about increasing our skills, increasing our family’s independence and increasing our liberty.  We homeschool and we have a home business because we want our freedom. We fight government health controls because we want our health freedom.   Food freedom is the next logical step for us.

As I’m writing this, the rain is falling.  Just in time to water the new transplants.