Parents worried about feeding their families, Nov. 25, 2021

I read this today. It is a real and pressing concern, and I am sure it is not only happening in Canada.

It will be even more frightening for those who have unfairly lost their jobs, or will due to recent events, have high mortgages (in contrast to income) and no way to support themselves by growing their own food or even knowing how to source or prepare it.

I know that local food banks are getting minimal donations, & what is going out is meager & unbalanced. We know someone who had to rely on them & soup kitchens even before, & also on the generousity of others, and are appalled at what is available for those who truly have no choice and absolutely can't do anything for themselves. More people are wanting the meal services on top of everything else.

Let's remember to be proactive in attracting those that are able bodied, in order to teach them growing, cooking, and frugalness skills. So many have never needed to think this way and so never developed these coping mechanisms.

It would help the food banks & soup kitchens tremendously, and also give those who suddenly find themselves in this unexpected spot, new adaptation skills and confidence as they face an uncertain future.


  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I gave our local food banks seed packets and hope to give them plants in the spring next year.

    It is a seroius concern about food and shortages in many areas

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,356 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There was a period of my life where this was a fear of mine. It is a horrible place to be at. Teaching people to budget, plan, shop, and cook frugally is a passion of mine. It seems to be a lost art where I live. My daughter suggested earlier today that I start a YouTube channel all about teaching it all. Which would be great, but it will get harder and harder as prices skyrocket!

    None of my extended family or close friends see the benefits of being able to grow/raise your own food. It makes me sad and kinda scared for them. Several of them have even expressed that if it became hard to purchase food they would just come to me...

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,395 admin

    I am so fortunate to have food security. Milk is one of the few things that I currently don't have a source for but I am on the hunt. I have been making discrete inquiries as to who might have a cow in the area that would be interested in doing the "cow-share" thing. Its also considered as much of a no-no in my jurisdiction as buying raw milk, but its a difficult thing to prove in rural areas if everyone keeps quiet.

    @Michelle D I have had family members who live in a big city, say the same thing to me. I don't think they realize I will be putting them to work to assist with the planting, tending, harvesting and processing.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,203 ✭✭✭✭

    In the spring this year I looked across the courtyard of this apartment and realized the family was growing flowers. I came in and tried not to cry. They could have chosen to grow food instead. The amount of food she gets every week is appalling. It is time to offer seeds to plant.

    You are right @LaurieLovesLearning people need our skills.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,210 admin

    @torey You could also find someone who would appreciate a relief milker. Sometimes it would be nice to have one, and nobody is going to rat out their relief help! We actually might have found a relief milker lately. She's eager to learn, but will have to wait until spring.

    Our understanding is that if you milk it, you can take it with you. However, I think it's in AB where someone even got it passed years ago that it is illegal to transport raw milk.

    When I asked about specific laws in my province years ago, all I got was information from AB and somewhere else...maybe BC? Nothing was given to me for MB.

    @Michelle D As Torey said, you couldn't let them have it for nothing. That would be taking advantage of you. I agree with Torey on this one. Put them to work and make it enough to be worth trading some food for or make them pay "fair trade" prices. Everything takes effort and financial input. Nothing in/from a garden, pasture, or coop is free as some city folks believe. If they are able bodied & aren't willing to work & hard, there should be no reward. If you didn't work hard there wouldn't be any reward for you either. It's a hard line, but protects you and is very realistic.

    @dipat3005 I insisted that if we do a garden, that it would be food & not flowers. With all that was possibly coming, I knew we had to be wise about our choices. I had one of our kids grump about it, but I said it is important. Planting veggies would give us more food in the end than flowers. Those wouldn't last long, even if edible.

    If you could offer that family seeds and offer any advice she might need to grow them, that would be very thoughtful. Ask what vegetables they like the best and use that to choose what to give.

    Hopefully she would put effort into it. She could still grow flowers in amongst the veggies!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,395 admin

    I think people who just have flower gardens simply don't know any better. So many pretty veggies to grow and they don't need to detract from a flower garden for those who are really into flowers. Even at the florist shops, other plant material is added to a bouquet (salal with roses, baby's breath with carnations, pomegranates & artichokes in Christmas displays, etc.), so why not in the garden, too.

    Rainbow chard gives great colour and leaf texture. So many different kinds of pretty lettuce. Even herbs have gorgeous flowers. Sage spikes are flower garden worthy and there are different variegated sages for additional colour. Summer squash have big, bright blooms and are fast growers to fill in spaces with lots of green leaves. Nasturtiums do triple duty; flowers, food & medicine. Marshmallow is often grown as a landscape perennial without people realizing what a great medicinal it is. Even the lowly chive plant can be beautiful when in full bloom.

    Any encouragement is a step in the right direction.

    @LaurieLovesLearning I came very close last week. But she had just sold the cow cause it was too much work. She didn't have anyone to relieve her. So I made sure to tell her that I know how to milk if she decides to get another one. Not sure how my hands will cope after all these years.:)

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,356 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @torey and @LaurieLovesLearning absolutely! As much as I love people it would be impossible for me to provide for so many with no help. Also, I don't have a lot of land or animals myself yet. It is still a work in progress. I would probably end up sharing seeds and teaching them to garden for themselves. I still have so many things I need to source. Hopefully I can make more progress soon enough.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,481 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning this is a world wide problem. The Covid pandemic certainly got people thinking and supplies were short on seeds/seedlings & associated items. People took to gardening but when it settles down, will people just go back to their old ways? People with some background knowledge, should always encourage others to grow their own and show people how to budget and plan cheap, healthy meals. It can be done. Giving excess produce to charities and church kitchens, is something we can all do. So much food gets wasted, from supermarkets, restaurants etc. In Australia there is a group called Oz Harvest doing excellent work in this area.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 1,937 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Michelle D Unfortunately there are a lot of people who have the same attitude. My family and my husbands family are both included as well as several friends. They all think it will be fine to just show up at our place and we will be able to supply them. Some would be willing to help do the work to keep the food growing but others just think they are entitled.

    We have donated a for few years, plants and extra seeds to our local food bank and before I started my current job I volunteered there a full day when they were serving clients and to unload the delivery trucks.

    Hoping to get a full garden put in this spring and if we can get new pens built and be ready for them we would like to have pigs and do a breeding program. We will see if this is something we can get started this year.

    Always talking to folks about gardening and raising chickens, trying to encourage friends and family alike to start gardening and to learn about herbal medicines and now (Thanks to Torey) to homeopathy as well.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 900 ✭✭✭✭

    Basic gardening and cooking classes may the the next essentials classes taught at elementary and high schools, or even colleges. Perhaps community centers could include these classes. From what you are saying, there are many people that have no idea how to live from the Earth and the many types of climates and soils that are available year round; sustainable healthy living.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,210 admin

    @SuperC There are some programs, community gardens, that some schools already do. I think these gardens are a result of community efforts to teach these things, not the government mandating it as part of a curriculum. I just don't know if it would continue to be taught beyond the base community level.

    People are often lazy and many won't want to continue to put in the effort. Screens are also addictive and steal away time & motivation. Governments want people to look to them to save them from everything (and lazy people welcome that), but obviously, they are failing miserably to give that provision in a wise and productive way.

    They don't want people to be independent & self supporting, nor thinkers, nor be able to question & troubleshoot (these go together), nor healthy (there is money to be made from the sick), nor community (which gives strength in many ways), and that's exactly what gardening gives people.

    I think that if you want a strong, independent & vibrant community, you give them the tools and resources to succeed. The people give the effort.