Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Kiwis Are Doing It Right

Over half the population is growing their own food

"Almost 60 per cent of New Zealanders say they have taken up vegetable gardening in the past 12 months.
A Herald-DigiPoll survey of 750 people found benefits in growing your own food during a tough economic year.
As the price of fruit and vegetables rose 12 per cent in the year to November in Statistics New Zealand figures, 57.6 per cent of people said they had started vegetable gardening.
Women were more likely to have taken it up, at 62.1 per cent, but the majority of men also answered that they had."

"A tide of New Zealanders have taken up do-it-yourself crafts in the past year and the popularity of sewing, knitting, making cleaning products and doing repairs is surging.
A Herald-DigiPoll survey found more than 40 per cent of women had taken up sewing, knitting or another craft during the past 12 months, and more than a quarter had begun using home-made cleaning products.
Seventy per cent of people said they had started repairing or making things for themselves.
Wendyl Nissen, author of books on living more self-sufficiently, said a tough economy had spurred people into trying handcrafts - and they soon realised it was much more fulfilling than watching television.
"What's happening is a whole return to more simple things," Nissen said."

In The Future You May Not Be Able To Provide The Basics For Your Family Even If Everyone In Your Family Has A Job

I love seeing stories like these because I've had a garden every year for thirty years. It's one of the most wonderful and enjoyable things in my life.
I'll say one thing about moving down to the southwest after doing it up in the rainy and cooler northwest, I have to learn a whole new way of doing things. Up there it was basically at sea level; down here I'm almost a mile up. In Oregon I had to contend with slugs and deer; in the desert it's rabbits and a whole new bewildering panoply of strange insects.
This was part of the backyard last summer:

I had to buy a pickaxe to bust through the weird caliche here and the dirt was filled with rocks in digging each bed down a foot. The ground is astoundingly alkaline and I add a lot of gypsum and manure from various stables nearby.
Potatos were fantastic for a new plot even though they got munched by some bugs, but which were big enough to pick off. I need to learn what other root crops are suited for this area. Peas were non existent because as soon as they popped up they were mowed down by a wave of larva worms, but English Runner Beans fought them off and lured in the hummingbirds. The freezer is full of hot peppers, sauces, cooked winter squash and I ate the last of the fresh tomatos January 2. Yes, they did last into the new year. Onions had a hard time, I'm thinking the PH prevented bulb growth but we enjoyed plenty of green onions. Herbs galore, tons of stuffed bell peppers and great zooks and eggplants. Corn suffered from yet another nasty bug and the ferocious winds around here. I may put up a wind screen.

other side of the yard

So, low growing plants, more greenhouses, soil amendments and a soap based bug spray should help this year. One of the cats that adopted us is helping with gophers along with a couple of those screaming rodent-B-gone acoustic sticks. I already ordered special seeds from Territorial (a plug for what I consider the absolute best supplier)and now that we turned the corner I can hardly wait to get digging.


Anonymous Ricky said...

Your first garden photo looks great. It's a great feeling to go into your own garden and pick lunch, there is something quite magical about dirt and water making food. Good luck with the new growing season.


6/1/11 1:53 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Thank you very much Ricky.
Things are about to get much, much worse. Having fresh food will save an awful lot of people when the dark days begin.
But the most important thing, as you say, is the stunningly magical process of growing plants and the deep satisfaction of being involved with the seasonal cycles, the process of life and death.
You can guarantee that as more people start to grow their own food out of necessity they'll continue to do it out of love.

6/1/11 4:21 AM  

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