I'm not one for New Year's resolutions, but this year already I have a feeling that a lot of new things are happening. For one, we have a new meeting space... and for another, it seems like we have a lot of new people and renewed energy around the board table. We also are planning a new garden at the HUB, and I'm so excited about that!
I'm also excited about the recent UBC food security project report (available on our Google Group), and the possibility of starting some urban agriculture programs in the Valley this year. I had a chat with someone the other day at the Farmers' Market, and they were lamenting about how there's hardly any local veg available this time of year. It's true there's not much beyond onions and kale; farmers quickly sell out of products that are more difficult to store fresh. But at home, I still have many things that I'm nursing along. There's so much that can be stored fresh or harvested through winter, but you have to do it yourself. In fact, with enormous pride, I just used my last homegrown Indian Moon tomato!
It was delicious; like eating July in January.
It got me thinking about how much home growing contributes (or could contribute) to food security, quality of nutrition, self-confidence, and quality of life. (Not to mention the contribution to climate change that the Mexican one that I'll be eating today has made.)
I am a bit of a tomato geek. I want to be able to have a tomato for every season. I enjoy doing it so much, that I often try new things, and I forget that a lot of people don't know how, or don't have the confidence in their ability, the inspiration or the time to 'Do It Yourself'. Next year, I'll be growing more good keepers, and I look forward to selling more heirloom tomato plants and winter veggies at the market, but I also hope that we can work on developing some programs for promoting this form of self-reliance for families in the Valley.
Let's do it ourselves, and do it together!