Lately I've been concerned for the lack of progress in my veg patch. I should be eating tomato bruschetta for breakfast every morning but I'm yet to see a ripe tomato on the vine. I tend to gauge the progress of a season by when a certain veg comes into play and feeds us in seemingly never-ending supply.
Just to check on myself I decided to go back over my blog as it's basically a record of what I've been cooking each year. By February last year I was already podding dried borlitti beans! This year I haven't even got a green bean in a pod.
So what's the difference I ask? Why is this year different to last year's bounty? The obvious comes to mind, weather, then aspect, then soil type...everything is different because this time last year I was gardening in the cottage in town, and I had the thermal mass of a country city helping my veg along. But out here I have the elements to deal with...well, I don't, my veg does.
I'm concerned because our food supply is mostly supposed to be backyard produce. Lucky for us we have the freezer stocked with goodies, and we have the staples of potato, onion and eggs. But I'm down to the last two bottles of passata and my jamon is almost gone.
Thankfully the constant nurturing of some veg is about to pay us back with food. The squash, zucchini and beetroot are starting their harvesting season, and capsicum and eggplant won't be too far off. But my pumpkin and beans, the food that we rely on to get us through winter is doing poorly.
I have to remind myself that there is still all of February and March and even a little bit of April for the veg to mature. We seem to be having a later summer every year. In any case, my food production is at the mercy of the weather, the seasons are all out of my hands. I just have to accept what nature dishes out. A far cry from my old life in the city, where it was the opening hours of the supermarket that dictated my food supply. But what if there was no back up food supply from the supermarket? We've got ourselves into a pickle here. We no longer know how to look after ourselves individually or in small groups as we are a collective.
Since we downed the hunting weapons and picked up the farm tools we committed to the system of many people doing their selected task in life to make the collective operational. It's not a bad system. Think about the old days when a town would have a cobbler, butcher, green grocer, tailor etc. Each person had a task in life to do and that in turn kept the community going. Now the system is still operational it's just far more complex. For instance, I used to work a job where all I'd do all day was update spreadsheets of 'important' numbers. It served a purpose to someone I guess, but it was pretty meaningless to me. I was intimidated once by moving back to the country and living a basic life. But now what I do makes more sense, even if it's a bad season of veg. At least I know why I work in the vegetable patch. To make food. Now there's purpose.
PS. THANKS for the mega response for the workshops. We're looking at possible venues over the next few weeks and will set up a website for booking etc. I can't wait to meet so many people that are even interested in this lifestyle. I didn't think I'd get such a positive response. I don't have the words to express how stoked I am.