The Cost of Food - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-12-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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I'm not offended. It is a great suggestion for those who can do it. My only point is that it doesn't help everyone.

If I was poor and somehow managed to get a garden together, I would be in a very bad spot if my garden didn't yield anything, and I was relying on that food.

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Old 05-12-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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You have clearly misread my posts.

I am not against the suggestion. For some people, it is a great suggestion. I think gardening is a great option *for some people* I garden myself. While it definitely has the potential to save money. If your garden doesn't produce, then you are out that money, and those few dollars make a serious difference for some people.

Some people don't have the space and no community gardens to use. Some people don't have the knowledge. Some people cannot afford the upfront costs, as small as they may be. If the choice is eating that week or buying garden supplies to hopefully eat for free later, people need to eat. Some people work 12-16 hours a day and simply don't have the time or energy.

People need to look beyond their own experiences to know that what works for them is not going to work for everyone, and we need more encompassing solutions to the food problems that we are facing.
I actually have to agree with you, I would love to garden and grow food but from a time perspective, I have little time and I have 0 knowledge of what to do. (been checking books out from the library, really are not helpful IMO when you know nothing) I do know that based off the guesstimates of some gardening folks who have seen my yard that its dicey whether or not my ground would yield much (not a ton of sun, strange slope and not a ton of space). My money is tight and since I don't have any supplies, I am extremely weary about buying the start up stuff only to waste money.

I actually found your posts to be realistic.

Shay

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Old 05-12-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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Thanks shay. I am glad that someone understands what I am saying/

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Old 05-12-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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I actually have to agree with you, I would love to garden and grow food but from a time perspective, I have little time and I have 0 knowledge of what to do. (been checking books out from the library, really are not helpful IMO when you know nothing) I do know that based off the guesstimates of some gardening folks who have seen my yard that its dicey whether or not my ground would yield much (not a ton of sun, strange slope and not a ton of space). My money is tight and since I don't have any supplies, I am extremely weary about buying the start up stuff only to waste money.

I actually found your posts to be realistic.

Shay
I am right there with you too. I want so desperatly to have a garden, but we can barely keep pur grass growing. We live on a giant rock/ant hill, litterally our ground is decomposed granite & ants go flying anytime we pull weeds. Plus we are semi desert (gets into the 100's sometimes 110's during the summer) I know people in our area that make it work, but it is expensive to start & then alot of work to keep up with. I've tried a few containers, but they haven't worked well for us either for various reasons. I'm tired of getting my hopes up & wasteing money I don't have.

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Old 05-12-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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I think that nothing makes more sense than finding a way to grow your own food.

Where there's a will there's a way. We always make things that are very important to us happen.

I really think that food costs are going to continue rising. People should do whatever they can to start learning to garden because we have the coming years to consider as well.

And yes I realize that for a very small fraction of people there really isn't ANY way to make it work.

I think that people need to realize how important knowing how to garden is going to be. If food is too expensive this year then what will they do next year when the prices will surely be higher???

and we are poor. So please don't pull the "You don't understand poverty" cr*p because we most certainly do. That is exactly why we are taking this so seriously in my household.
: I'm poor too, with a huge student loan debt and no income, but I happen to live in a really great place where everyone around me gardens. I realize not everyone *wants* to or *can* garden. I don't think people have to take a suggestion like that so personally. I guess it's cause I used the big font, right? I just wish everyone the best, so they survive the coming storm.
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Old 05-12-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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I am right there with you too. I want so desperatly to have a garden, but we can barely keep pur grass growing. We live on a giant rock/ant hill, litterally our ground is decomposed granite & ants go flying anytime we pull weeds. Plus we are semi desert (gets into the 100's sometimes 110's during the summer) I know people in our area that make it work, but it is expensive to start & then alot of work to keep up with. I've tried a few containers, but they haven't worked well for us either for various reasons. I'm tired of getting my hopes up & wasteing money I don't have.
i'm thinkin raised beds.
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Old 05-12-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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I am at a point where I am not going to have a choice but to garden. I will guarentee you that if you are hungry enough, you will figure out how to grow food. And that day may come.
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:06 PM
 
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Another thing is some people simply can't afford to garden, no matter how cheap it is. They may need that money to buy guaranteed food.
.
There are seeds in the veggies at the grocery store. If you are buying them anyways, why not just save the seeds?
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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I agree it is important if one can do it.

Having grown up poor, volunteered with anti poverty groups, it is not crap that a lot of people don't understand poverty on this board. Some people are so poor that they cannot even afford the one dollar for a packet of seeds, not to mention everything else needed for gardening.

Perhaps people should start a gardening help organization for people in need.
I agree. Our food bank has something called the Garden Project. There are free beds for folks under a certain income. They get free seeds and education as well. If you have space, you can have your home garden tilled for a nominal fee ($5-10 plus all of the seeds you need). We just had our garden tilled and I'm going to start planting this week.

Given all of this support, people still need reliable sources of food. We've taken part in these services for years. Sometimes our yield is high, other times, like last summer, we're lucky to get a couple of salads. Gardening is awesome if you have the time, space and accommodating weather but it is not a panacea for poverty and hunger reduction.
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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There are seeds in the veggies at the grocery store. If you are buying them anyways, why not just save the seeds?
There is more costs to gardening than seeds.

Jam 7, Peanut Butter 5, and Bread 2.

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:17 PM
 
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I agree. Our food bank has something called the Garden Project. There are free beds for folks under a certain income. They get free seeds and education as well. If you have space, you can have your home garden tilled for a nominal fee ($5-10 plus all of the seeds you need). We just had our garden tilled and I'm going to start planting this week.

Given all of this support, people still need reliable sources of food. We've taken part in these services for years. Sometimes our yield is high, other times, like last summer, we're lucky to get a couple of salads. Gardening is awesome if you have the time, space and accommodating weather but it is not a panacea for poverty and hunger reduction.
That is a great idea.

One project in my city that I think is great is that they will pick people's fruit trees if they don't want to, and 2/3 go to the food banks where fresh produce is a rarity, and the owner keeps 1/3.

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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I know it's really easy to say that you "can't" garden, or buy local meat and cheese, or go to the farmer's market, and for some people that's really true.
Yeah. Unfortunately true for us. We have to foodstamp it while DH is in school, and foodstamps are definitely NOT accepted by local cheese artisans and farmer's markets.

Gardening we can do a little, though. We are doing container gardening again this year- I'll put in probably double the amount of tomato and basil I did last year. And the little tomato and basil plant starts ARE COVERED by foodstamps! Can we all just stop and be refreshed by the presence of a smart government decision?
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:33 PM
 
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That is a great idea.

One project in my city that I think is great is that they will pick people's fruit trees if they don't want to, and 2/3 go to the food banks where fresh produce is a rarity, and the owner keeps 1/3.


that's great!


Here is one thing that is happening in Portland that I think is AWESOME and every major city should do this...http://urbanedibles.org/
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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Yeah. Unfortunately true for us. We have to foodstamp it while DH is in school, and foodstamps are definitely NOT accepted by local cheese artisans and farmer's markets.

Gardening we can do a little, though. We are doing container gardening again this year- I'll put in probably double the amount of tomato and basil I did last year. And the little tomato and basil plant starts ARE COVERED by foodstamps! Can we all just stop and be refreshed by the presence of a smart government decision?

Yes!!
You can use food stamps in Oregon (I am not sure where you are...)to buy from farmers markets as well as purchase veggie starts (I am not sure about seeds)
Hopefully more states will do the same!!

Also, many of our grocery stores carry tons of local products and produce.

I often forget just how spoiled we are here in Portland

.
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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I want to start a Sam's Club Club. (I know some of you are anti-Sam's/Wal*Mart . . . my husband included . . . but if you aren't . . . .) The idea is to find a neighbor or friend who has similar items on her shopping list and share a Sam's size package of it, splitting the package and the cost. Most giant sized items end up being a better buy . . . if you can use it all before it goes bad. If we split a package, and the cost, I think we could all save some money.

What do you think?
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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Can we all just stop and be refreshed by the presence of a smart government decision?

Yes that is fabulous!
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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i'm thinkin raised beds.
Not a bad idea, but even this has a costs to it, I might try a really small area this year as a raised bed and see how sucessful that is before I make a large committment. Since dh & I are not handy people, I am stumped at how to make it work with minimal costs.

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I agree. Our food bank has something called the Garden Project. There are free beds for folks under a certain income. They get free seeds and education as well. If you have space, you can have your home garden tilled for a nominal fee ($5-10 plus all of the seeds you need). We just had our garden tilled and I'm going to start planting this week.

Given all of this support, people still need reliable sources of food. We've taken part in these services for years. Sometimes our yield is high, other times, like last summer, we're lucky to get a couple of salads. Gardening is awesome if you have the time, space and accommodating weather but it is not a panacea for poverty and hunger reduction.
So much is based on location, I know in the largest city here in Maine they have a garden project like you have described. However I live in a smaller town that does not offer anything like that, and while community gardens seem to be growing in popularity in more urban areas, I suspect there are still a lot of places that have nothing like that. Heck, my town didn't even want to give 10K to the frickin library which has seen an increase of users (hello, free books and movies) so in places like I live, getting the powers to be to consider this type of project probably won't happen for a while.

Shay

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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I went grocery shopping today and went out to my car and just sat there trying not to cry. .
This was a couple of pages back but I so understand. I do the same thing every week!
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Old 05-12-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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I just had another thought. for those who are not moved to grow food, maybe you just have a different purpose. to barter for food with something you offer. Thats a way to get free food.

I really think the food crisis AND oil crisis are going to FORCE us to be more sustainable and build our communitys up. This is AWESOME.

It can't be all bad, right?
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Old 05-12-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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I am at a point where I am not going to have a choice but to garden. I will guarentee you that if you are hungry enough, you will figure out how to grow food. And that day may come.
"That day" is looking more and more likely all of the time.

I grew up poor, as did my DH, and we lived well below the poverty level until very recently. So I don't appreciate the assumption that I, as a proponent of gardening, don't understand poverty. Planning ahead is priceless.

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Old 05-12-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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The first year we moved into our house (4 yrs ago), we started up a 3000 sq ft garden w/our neighbors. They quickly lost interest, so now we do it ourselves. It is ALOT of work, but soooo worth it. We recently took in a pg friend and her 2 kids, and we could not afford to feed us all this summer if it weren't for what we expect our garden to yield. It was the best decision we ever made, starting that garden. Each year the ground has more organic matter worked into it (we have many times spent a Saturday as a family, raking out someone else's (we just went around and asked ppl!) barn so we could put the poo in our garden. We decided to spend the day doing that so that it would pay off in the future, instead of watching a movie, goofing off, etc...We have lost plants to freezes, been disappointed after a huge aphid attack, etc....We learn more and more each year, and each year it gets better for us. And I have to say, I'm proud that my kids will grow up knowing how to help themselves.

We offered our new neighbors (who are complaining about not having enough money for food/gas) a place to help garden in exchange for produce. It's the story of the Little Red Hen so far. They will get nothing out of our garden because they would rather hang out and goof off instead of working. Hopefully they'll learn a lesson after our food bill goes down to $200/month for a family of 10!

Freecycle is a great place to find gardening tools, seeds, dirt, compost, etc....Wood for raised beds too!

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Old 05-12-2008, 05:35 PM
 
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Freecycle is a great place to find gardening tools, seeds, dirt, compost, etc....Wood for raised beds too!
or craigslist!
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:41 PM
 
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I think if you want to garden but are low on money NOW is the time to start...just not for this year.Craigslist always has free rock or bricks or other things to use for raised bed gardens.Get creative.Then start adding cardboard and leaves and kitchen veggie waste.It will break down into good soil just not for this season.Check out permaculture books.Research.
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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For those of you who are looking for HOW to garden or WHAT went wrong with my garden check out your local County Extension Agent. They can test your soil, teach you, provide seeds, provide teachers, provide mentors, check the seals on your canner, tell you what kinds of things grow best in your area, etc. They are a FABOULOUS resource that only 4-H people really know much about. Here is a link to one: http://toolecountymt.gov/ and another one: http://king.wsu.edu/

Also, lots of retired people would love to help you. So you can ask a neigbor or another church member or someone at the local nursery and can usually find some help. We also have a master gardener program that is free, but requires a bunch of volunteer hours that you could find help from.

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Old 05-13-2008, 12:57 AM
 
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Yeah. Unfortunately true for us. We have to foodstamp it while DH is in school, and foodstamps are definitely NOT accepted by local cheese artisans and farmer's markets.
That's too bad! Our farmers markets do take foodstamps which I think it wonderful.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:16 AM
 
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One can use food stamps to buy seeds thou
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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Oooh, yes, the county extension office ROCKS!!!!!!!!! We call them all the time! Once they knew of an elderly man who would come get the bee swarm on our tree (it was Fall and I was afraid they'd die while scouting for a new home) when no one else would. We got a great homeschool lesson out of it!

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Old 05-13-2008, 01:24 PM
 
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There are seeds in the veggies at the grocery store. If you are buying them anyways, why not just save the seeds?
You won't always get reliable plants from the seeds in produce-aisle veggies. A good deal of them a genetically modified determinate seeds (AKA: evil montsanto has altered them so that the seeds wont grow plants the following year, so that farmers each year have to buy more seeds)
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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You won't always get reliable plants from the seeds in produce-aisle veggies. A good deal of them a genetically modified determinate seeds (AKA: evil montsanto has altered them so that the seeds wont grow plants the following year, so that farmers each year have to buy more seeds)

I learned this lesson the hard way after growing HUGE vines of pumpkins that would flower, but never set fruit. I later learned that the offspring seeds we had saved were genetically unable to reproduce. So, we got a whole lot of vines for the compost pile and a deeper repect for heirloom seeds.

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Old 05-13-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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You won't always get reliable plants from the seeds in produce-aisle veggies. A good deal of them a genetically modified determinate seeds (AKA: evil montsanto has altered them so that the seeds wont grow plants the following year, so that farmers each year have to buy more seeds)
: nice.

I hear you. I didnt realize they were gm stuff other than soy and corn.

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