A few months ago I had a conversation on Twitter with a young man from Baltimore. He described himself as an aspiring foodie, and was hoping to grow all of his own food one day. He asked me what it was like to grow up on a farm. My response, "The best thing that has ever happened in my life. I learned responsibility for livestock and land. My family was there with me and you can't beat home raised beef."
He told me I was lucky. And how great it was to have access to all that food. However, that is where he misunderstood. Even though I grew up on a farm and we had home-raised beef, and pork from a the neighbor down the road we still went to town to buy our eggs, milk, cheese, fruit and vegetables. He was really shocked.
He didn't think about the fact that where I grew up in Alberta the crops we grow are mostly barley, oats, canola and grassland for hay. Yes, our family could have had chicken but with my fear of birds that probably won't have worked out real well! And we didn't have the time to grow a garden. From June to August my sister and I were lucky to be home for more than two days in a row with all the 4-H camps, livestock shows and agricultural trips we were taking. My understanding is if you are not there to water, weed and harvest a garden it doesn't work out so well.
I consider myself a farmer, but I don't know if I could feed myself somedays. It takes time and resources that I don't always have access to. Something to think about and make sure the consumer understands.
This is sorghum. Where I grew up it isn't grown, but lots can be found in Kansas.