The food question

The first frosts have done away with the beans and courgettes in the garden. The onions are lifted. Some are dry enough to hang in the woodshed but others still need a few days.

It’s the time of year of stews and soups. There are no squashes to enjoy this year but the broccoli in the tunnel is looking good and some nice red cabbages await harvesting. This weekend we’ll have the first of them with a roast. The first of the self-seeded lamb’s lettuce is ready for picking in the greenhouse.

Even at this time of year it is good to know that I can go to the garden and pick my own vegetables and fruit. I know that I am lucky that I still have the option to go to the shop if I need food. I was thinking this after reading Lori Fontanes thought-provoking piece on what we do with food in 2015. Lori asks how in 2015, food can be wasted when people are still staving? A few things I have read this week have been asking how, as the human population continues to expand, can we ever feed everyone. The world is a finite place with finite resources. I do not believe we should head down the GMO route – the opposite in fact. I feel we need to grow simple nutritious food suited to our climates (where ever we live) and everyone should be encouraged to plant something – even a few herbs on their windowsill. There is a certain joy in growing your own; a certain sense of achievement; and you learn a lot too.

 

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11 thoughts on “The food question

  1. Eliza Waters

    I think an overlooked area is food waste. It is estimated that in America alone 30-40% is wasted. Ouch! Market pricing at the farming level, distribution, poor meal planning and conservative expiration dates play a big part of that loss. Institutions waste a lot of food, too. Distribution engineering (streamlining) could get food to hungry people more quickly, and increasingly, excesses/overages are being donated to food banks that in turn distribute food to impoverished families. Do you have similar in Ireland?

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Same here with food waste Eliza. People are beginning to start food bank projects and it’s making difference but way to go yet

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      1. Eliza Waters

        It requires a lot of volunteer effort here as it is non-profit, but the idea is catching on with restaurants and supermarkets donating food. My brother volunteers to sort food once a week. It is perfect for newly retired people who want to keep busy.

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  2. Jane

    And devolving responsibility back to the individual a little bit is a healthy direction. In WWII, of course, the catchphrase was ‘Dig for Victory’ and everyone grew something. The context is different now and motivation from a different corner – so promoting the enjoyment of growing your own is certainly the thing, Karina.

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Dig for Victory is the perfect example Jane of what can be done. We’ve good campaign here in Ireland called Grow it yourself (GIY) which supports local groups which promoting growing your own. The local group acts as a support network. A great idea and I think possibly international now.

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  3. Melissa Shaw-Smith

    Well said! After a hard frost last weekend, it’ s now time to put my own garden to bed for the season. In my head I’m already planning for next season. Usually where I plant the fall garlic determines where everything else slots in. My kitchen is strung with bunches of drying herbs and the I’m already tucking into the garlic with gusto. Sure the season could always be better in the garden, but the satisfaction of knowing that many of my families’ meals started with our own produce is so rewarding. Enjoy that red cabbage and roast!

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Love the idea of the kitchen strung with herbs – must try harder there. I got my garlic in couple of days ago – always great to be planting anything:)

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  4. stephpep56

    agree with all Murtagh’s meadow!, How about garden sharing? I live in an apartment (didnt always, once lived on 38 acres but that’s another story) and grow my runner beans, broad beans and climbing french beans in large pots , also herbs in smaller ones. BUT I also have a garden share agreement with my daughter who lives on .5 of an acre. I look after her garden and in return can grow vegetables for myself (with enough for her and her husband, and even for my other daughter’s family). It benefits us both! I love gardening and miss having one and am not in a position to buy one. As for food wastage!! New health and safety laws are ridiculous,…and put a stop to giving away left over food!….I think the french are good at turning a blind eye to all these EU regulations, correct me if I’m wrong… Love your photo’s and writings Murtaghs Meadow and your interest and commitment to growing your own.
    Steph xx

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Love the idea of garden sharing -what a great idea Steph. Win win for everyone. Thanks you for your kind comments.

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