Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Where do our vegetables come from?

That was a question passed on (in the context of "do we care?") by Carolina Farm Stewardship Association in today's e-newsletter.

Their answer was yes (of course), citing various folks.  Do we care about organic? Is it GMO free? Are the farmworkers safe? Etc.  They didn't ask the question about how far the food had traveled, or how it was grown.  And certainly, there are a lot of us (who receive their e-newsletter) who DO like to know that (at least some of) our food is grown or raised nearby, whether veggies, meat, or eggs.

But the response was prompted by a piece in the Washington Post, which essentially said it depends on how you ask the question. 

We have a lot of folks living in our county who are doing well to put food on their tables, really, and this was an eye-opening piece for me (not having been a mom), about how picky children are as eaters.

I'm getting ready to plant late winter/early spring vegetables, and reviewing a program I'll be doing for the NC Arboretum next week on Sustainable Kitchen Gardening. 

I'm now growing a lot of vegetables in basically 4 raised beds, with additional beds on the side of the house and below, but nothing like the space I used to have down in our Piedmont garden.  But we still have more than enough--even in cold winters, although I don't have any overwintering greens, again! 

I still have tomatoes and green beans from last summer's harvest, as well as fruits from the farmer's markets, and sweet potatoes and butternut squash from my generous friend.

So fresh greens will be welcome from sowings this weekend.  (In the meantime, they're coming from far away, perhaps from places like we visited in Guatemala, but probably largely from California and Mexico.)

vegetable fields in the Western Highlands of Guatemala

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