More Joy of Less along with Mother Nature Network

I skipped blogging about last month’s Joy of Less topic: cutting down on energy use. We’re in a position right now that it’s really, really tough to make changes in the appliances we plug in and the hours the heater runs. Later -perhaps much later – I’ll be able to walk to work again, and we’ll use the car less. That will be a good start in lowering our energy use and in turn our carbon footprint.

This month, Mother Nature Network’s Joy of Less project features a topic close to my heart: growing your own groceries. MNN’s goal includes “plan and grow a garden that can replace part of your food bill and give you a healthier diet.”

We noticed recently that we rarely have empty jars any more in the O.K. Chorale kitchen. We usually keep one to collect the grease from bacon or ground beef or other meats that leave a little fat behind. Last weekend, Chuck noticed we were completely out of jars for that purpose. I found something for him, but that’s not the real story.

The story is one more sign that we’re buying less as we make our own. Pickles, tomato sauces, salsa, jams, applesauce – these are all things I make and can myself. We no longer need to buy the commercial versions, and therefore we no longer have commercial jars left over. Take that one more step and realize that if we’re not buying those products, our grocery list is shorter and therefore we’re spending less. In all honesty, I don’t think we’re spending less as much as we’re buying other things, like better cuts of meat and more seafood. In the end, we are using the garden to adjust our bill and edge our diets to a healthier level.

MNN calls it a “DIY Food Revolution.” This movement label reminds me of the burst of Recession Gardens several years back. Friends, I was gardening before it was trendy. My family has enjoyed DIY tomatoes on our BLTs and salads for years and years. I fit the statistical profile rather well. The typical American gardener is female (54%), age 45 or older (68%), and college educated (79%).

Many of this month’s feature stories are aimed at beginning gardeners. I read them anyway because there’s always something new to learn. Their indoor herb garden is similar to mine. The feature on body mechanics and gardening for fitness reminds me to take care – I’m still slowly recovering from last fall’s stroke-like experience. I can build strength gradually and get my seedlings in the ground little by little, too.

Growing your own groceries – I’ve started planning and planting (indoors) already. I still browse idea – filled articles that address small-space gardening, organic gardening for kids, and easy vegetables for various zones.

All this makes me crave spring. Despite the low temperatures during this spring break, I do see the backyard snow melting. It’ll be the OkayByMe Swamp for a little while, and then I’ll be out doing what I do to grow our own groceries.

This is not a sponsored post in any way. I enjoy Mother Nature Network and subscribe to their newsletters. There’s always something fascinating on the site.

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