After publishing my last post about obstacles to gardening when you’re poor, I realized there were maybe one or two points I missed…but then I read my emails and discovered there was more than just one or two things I neglected to mention! Thank you everyone who shared their individual experiences and gave feedback.
More Obstacles To Growing Your Own Food
I’m feeling like a lot of these points are reasons all people,regardless of socio-economic status might not garden.
I can’t believe I missed this one. I lived in a house without running water for awhile. Rain collection barrels helped but it was a pain in the ass.
In drought-afflicted areas, there are tight water restrictions. People who have to pay for water aren’t able to justify using large amounts every day . Rain collecting doesn’t work where it doesn’t rain and some states now prohibit rain collection now.
Sometimes there is no other way to combat animals that eat your garden other than building a fence. Building a deer proof fence…it’s not cheap.
One reader told me, “We managed to grow quite a bit but I ended up giving a lot of it away which seems to defeat the point.I filled my tiny freezer. I didn’t have money to buy a canner, which was too bad since I have enough mason jars to get me through doomsday ,if I could have just filled them with food! I don’t know how to can anyway….”
I can completely understand this. We scored an upright freezer at a yard sale years ago for only $30 and my Faux-MIL gave me a pressure cooker one Christmas. Both are really helpful when you do manage to grow any food in quantity.
“Gardening is fucking HARD!”
Thanks to Melissa for lending me that quoted headline right there. Add to this Shantay’s “Mother Nature sucks sometimes.”
Many readers shared their experience of spending money they did not have because they felt they needed to provide for themselves only to battle with surprise snow storms, bugs,hail,kids,animals,poor soil,plant disease,mildew,drought,flooding…. you know…pretty much every bad thing that can happen when you garden.
Once people have a horrible,no good,very bad experience with gardening, they aren’t likely to venture back into it,especially when they didn’t get a return on their investment the first time.
You can buy seeds with EBT? Who knew!?
It turns out a lot of people on food stamps didn’t even know that. Some people who did know that and had tried to buy seeds using their EBT said that they found limited gardening places that would take EBT and they weren’t interested in GMO seeds at the grocery store. Seed saving from store bought produce only works if you’re absolutely certain of the seed heritage .Most are hybrid and aren’t going to grow right (some won’t produce anything at all).
This part of the program is fairly new ,so perhaps the USDA has more plans to expand upon it .Maybe by offering gardening classes for SNAP & low income people?
Community Garden Plots Cost Money
True story. So do memberships to CSAs…although in my area, there is one CSA that has a sliding fee scale based on income and has a few shares reserved for SNAP recipients.
I received an awesome email from a reader who cannot grow her own food because of several of the original points I mentioned. Her email was long but there was one point I wanted to share:
“Even when I say to someone all the reasons I can’t garden, they throw WHERE THERE’S A WILL,THERE’S A WAY at me. I have will! I WANT to grow my own food! Hand to God cannot do it right now. Otherwise I would! I’ve ALWAYS had a garden and I’m good at it. My will & knowledge isn’t the problem here and it just makes me feel like a giant piece of dog shit when someone lays the guilt trip on me that I’m not doing enough to help feed myself because I don’t have enough will. “
Yeah. The “Where there’s a will,there’s a way” thing is getting old for me,too.
Ok, on to our weekly link round -up…
This is tomorrow. Leave your non-perishable food with your mail carrier and they will donate it to your local food pantry. If you miss this, consider donating directly to your food pantry. Food Bank Directory
Every Can Counts – a video from the Utah Food Bank featuring some of their food banks and the hungry people they serve.
Obesity is the New Malnutrition – looking at the “hunger-obesity paradox, especially in homeless.
Feeding Cities iTunes Course- This looks pretty amazing but I haven’t had a chance to check it out. Course description says: Food security is one of our biggest global problems. It is a commonly used, but often misunderstood, phrase that encompasses the availability, accessibility, safety, and security of what we consume. Every night nearly 870 million people go to bed hungry, an increasing number of whom live in cities. At the same time, another billion urbanites suffer from obesity-related diseases that the World Health Organization reports will be the number one killer of poor people globally by 2030. In fact, these diseases now cause close to 60 percent of all deaths worldwide. Surprisingly, nearly 80 percent of these deaths occur in developing countries
.While these food-related issues may have different manifestations in different parts of the world—urban, rural, developed, developing—they are particularly worrisome for today’s and tomorrow’s burgeoning urban centers in Asia and Africa. These centers are experiencing annual urban growth rates of two percent and three percent respectively. This sprawling urban expansion comprises miles of slums or golf courses and gated communities that displace the agricultural land that once supplied those cities with food. It also challenges weak transportation and logistics systems, which now must strain to bring food to market, and adds to existing inefficiencies that contribute to rising food prices, which contributes to undernutrition, overnutrition, and malnutrition. At the same time, the developed world also exhibits health crises, most evident in pockets of deprivation where access to healthy foods is limited and, more broadly, where obesity is epidemic. So what can be done?
Rochester Food Bank Garden -the produce from this church garden feeds the community’s senior citizens and supplies the food bank.
How To Profit From 46million Americans on Food Stamps - a look at “food stamp economy” and which business profit from it
USDA Expanding Food Stamp Usage At Farmer’s Markets- makes sense to me…especially with quite a few states looking to prohibit “junk food”, making access to better food that’s affordable , this is vital.
South Carolina Senate budget: Ban junk food at Governor’s mansion -I’ve given South Carolina Gov Nikki Haley a shoutout before for wanting to restrict junk food. SC Sen. Darrell Jackson is like, “Hey, that’s cool but then you can’t have any either.” (Not an exact quote)
Wisconsin Assembly Approves Junk Food Bill - I’ll bet the state paid governor Walker can still eat whatever the fuck he wants.
Tennessee is thinking that Wisconsin is on to something there - someone needs to take some lessons from Aamira Fetuga in that state and talk them out of it
Odd Coalition Objects to Wisconsin bill -amazingly (not really), people who like people to eat healthy food object to the nanny state regulation
Food Stamp Free-For-All – this week’s Huff Post Live talked about Wisconsin and limitations…. guest bloggers this week were Heather from My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream (remember Blogger Idol ?) and Jodi from Freetail Therapy
Farm Bill Looking At Deep Cut To SNAP – Even deeper than last year. Check out the things I’ve written before to get caught up on these cuts & what you can do to advocate -Here … here…. and here.
Cinncinati City Councilman and Others Take Food Stamp Challenge - Next week, participants will eat on $23 for the whole week.
Animated video explaining childhood food insecurity. (Yes, you’ll probably cry.Sorry) There’s another one,too : Hungry Kate with the Bellyache
And I think that’s that for this week…
To see all I’ve ever said here about hunger,food insecurity ,poverty, and living on food stamps, go here.
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