Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Japanese Crisis: Another Reason to Garden

We've all been keeping up with the devastating aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and I find it especially horrible to think of the affects such a disaster could have in the long-term, for our children.

I recently read an article in the New York Times about how radiation has been detected in Japan’s farms and crops - it is obvious that many people will no longer trust food from Japan, and the impact that this disaster will have on our food supply will be profound.  We've all experienced a sharp increase in food prices at our markets due to weather and energy.  The situation in Japan will create opportunity for food growers and manufacturers to increase their exports to Japan, and I suspect that this will, in turn, cause prices at home to spike even further.

However, the average person may be able to cope with this problem by growing their own vegetables - it's the perfect time to begin that process, and it’s a great activity to do with your children.  So here at Miss Barb's Kitchen that is exactly what we plan on doing and chronicling our progress every week.

Eggshell Seed Starters by NaturalCulture

I've always liked Sunset Books, which tends to publish good basic guides. The instructions are accompanied with illustrations that make the process easy to follow and understand, even for our littlest helpers.

A word to the wise is Planning. Growing your own vegetables is fulfilling and also hard work - evaluate your area for light, soil, and irrigation.   The University of Missouri’s website has excellent information about planning a raised garden bed, which you may want to think about if the ground soil where you want to plant is less than ideal.

Photo Credit by Norman A. Plate

Okay, off to do my gardening homework.

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