It’s almost cliché at this point, but the final weeks of the year really are the best time to take stock of things. As for me, this was the first year of real success for my urban garden. Urban gardening makes you get creative, and creativity is required for a quarter-acre lot in downtown Columbia. The last of my tomato vines just put out their final yield, and only a few pods of okra are left for harvesting. I recently planted my winter crop of greens, snow peas, onions, and garlic, and I’m in the process of clearing an area that will (hopefully) be used for my first bee hives come spring.
We hear a lot about economic development and its importance, but economics truly begins at home. One of the ironies in suburbia is that most homeowners have access to their own land but few use it for any kind of economic purpose. Even a tiny quarter-acre suburban plot with decent soil and good sun can produce enough fruit and vegetables to support a family of four for a whole year! Growing your own food is not just some romantic hobby but can be a serious economic endeavor for your family that helps reduce spending on groceries and boost your self-sufficiency.
Home gardens can even be taken a step further by promoting these economic activities at the community level; get your neighbors on board! The trading and selling of homegrown foods is another economic activity that was once done almost exclusively at the neighborhood and community level. Now many are almost entirely reliant on large supermarket chains. As such, local markets (such as farmers’ markets) need to feel the love.
In 2020, my family is setting a goal to consume less and produce more. I encourage you and yours to try the same!
Matt Kneece, South Carolina Policy Coordinator
P.S. On Tuesday, Jared and Roland (CFSA’s executive director) did a legislative update earlier this week. Watch the recordings on-demand (you don’t need a Facebook account to watch):
- Video 1 – NC budget, gerrymandering/new district maps, farm-to-school, hog waste lagoons, industrial hemp regulation, SNAP (13 min)
- Video 2 – cont. SNAP, the federal budget/farm bill implementation, and the upcoming election year (12 min)