This week, my mind is more focused on “eating good food” than on “growing good food.” Of course, it’s hard to have the first without the second! All the gardeners fully understand that backward-sounding order, but plenty of other people forget that behind most good food there is thought, and work, and care.
I have been very fortunate in being able to grow good food in my yard. The food is fresh, and our meals are varied. All those vegetables probably contribute a lot of vitamins and minerals to our daily intake. The garden sparks conversations with my neighbors, building my local community. I am thankful for my garden, the good food it provides, and for the physical strength to manage it. Not everyone has the time or a sunny enough or large enough spot to grow their own food.
Not that long ago, much of the western part of the county was an agricultural area. The Old Guys still talk about how Cobb County and sweet potatoes used to be like Vidalia is, now, with onions — viewed as the prime source of the sweetest and best produce. The fields were plowed using mules, and farming involved a lot of physical labor.
The sweet potatoes that grow in my yard (four varieties this year!) are also some work, and this year the chipmunks ate what I consider to be more than their share, but when we eat the sweet potatoes I was able to harvest, I know how they were grown (organic methods). I know that one variety is part of a line that stretches back more than 100 years in this county. I know that it is easy enough to grow this staple crop that other people can do it, too.
If enough other people give it a try, our whole community can benefit.