I understand that the government is creating stimulus packages for all sorts of things. The latest example I heard about was a voucher to purchase an energy efficient car.
Have you considered a voucher for home gardeners?
See, for our little family of three, with all three of us on special diets, our grocery bill could be astronomical. Could. IF we actually bought produce at the grocery. But we haven't in the last year. But it's not just produce.
- My almost-13-year-old boy, who has a hollow leg but is a very picky eater, has to avoid gluten products (oat, barley, rye, wheat), anything with chemicals or preservatives, cashews, peanuts, soybeans, and can tolerate only organic milk products.
- Hubby is lactose intolerant, so his special cheese is much more expensive than regular cheese.
- I'm trying to lose weight, but also can't handle gluten products or anything with chemicals. But getting special food for all three of us is expensive, so, as the mom, I make sure they have what they need, and I just take what I can get.
Good news, though. From our garden last year, my son ate a LOT of everything he loves: blueberries, strawberries, lettuce, green beans, many-colored kinds of carrots (red, purple, yellow, and of course, orange), corn, zucchini, yellow crookneck squash and peas. Hubby and I ate those plus lots of tomatoes, peppers, radishes, watermelon, pumpkin, eggplant, okra, cantaloupe, cherries, rhubarb, raspberries, beets, and lots of winter squashes. I dehydrated a lot and we ate them through the Winter, and even have a few winter squashes still to eat.
My point is this, President Obama: growing our garden was expensive to start, but well worth it. We didn't have concerns about contaminants or herbicides on our produce. We had more than enough of many of our items. But it all cost money to start... soil, composter, heirloom seeds, pots, etc. YOU can do something. Encourage people to grow their own "backyard grocery garden" by rewarding people to use their front lawns, backyards, or even their patio or balconey.
Give a subsidy for having chickens, ducks and goats instead of making us microchip and register them. Make a "bank" for heirloom seeds and give them away to all schools and communities who promise to (1) have participants consume the produce, esp the kids and (2) save seeds to "deposit" into the bank after the growing season is over. Give us grants for growing extra produce to give to food banks.We're moving to a bigger place as soon as we sell this house. We'll have more room for farm animals, bees, bigger crops, fruit and nut trees, berry brambles, and much more. I can control the quality of most of our food that way.
I realize that many people don't want, can't, or don't have the time to garden or grow their own food. That's their choice. But help those of us who do want to and are willing to make the time and expend the energy.
Help the American People.
Note: These pictures were all from our 2008 garden, mostly in containers, except for our small corn patch. Our house sits on a property that is just shy of a quarter of an acre, and we grew most of our produce for the year. It CAN be done. Help us.
Pic 1: Our "Three Sisters" corn path
Pic 2: Our cherry tomatoes
Pic 3: One eggplant
Pic 4: One day's harvest - see the purple carrots? Delicious, sweet and gone within moments.
Pic 5: Another day's harvest - rhubarb with lettuce, our first blueberries, cherries and radishes.