Gardening in America
Please enjoy this short piece from our Founder Mark Abbott, and his experience with gardening.
Growing up, I remember the shelves behind our basement stairs were lined with jars of canned peaches and stewed tomatoes. First dibs on the peach syrup and spaghetti and meatballs with Mom’s homemade sauce are two of my fondest and earliest memories of the food I ate as a child.
I also remember frozen bags of misshapen sweet corn and peas pulled from our freezer all winter long, strawberry refrigerator jam and garlic dill pickles that were all simply better than anything we could buy at the store. Unfortunately, as my own kids can attest from an over-brined pickle attempt, I never learned my Mom’s canning techniques.
I did learn a bit about gardening because we only put-up what we grew. The annual arrival of Burpee’s seed catalog’s signaled winter’s demise, and I’d pore over that catalog probably much like my 14-year-old stalks the Micro Center computer part sales events delivered to his mobile phone.
My mom eventually stopped canning. Life moved on, we moved away from our family farm and many of the practices and traditions I grew up with. I’ve tried to bring some of our traditions forward by building the FarmRaiser platform, but it’s not the same as growing up on a farm.
But there may be hope for my family and yours. I’m happy to report that both gardening and home canning are on the upswing. My own garden consists of a couple of raised beds in the back yard, but the amazing number of farmer’s markets, CSAs and home delivery options like Hungry Harvest, has made getting local, seasonal products convenient and inexpensive, helping spur a resurgence in novice food preservation.
The recession of 2007 has probably also helped the home garden/canning industry, as has a growing suspicion of industrial agriculture and food production. The canning jar industry has also done an amazing job of bringing food preservation into the 21st century with a wonderfully redesigned website, freshpreserving.com, that includes great pictures and how-to videos.
We’ve seen the same trend reflected in our own work here at FarmRaiser. In the last few years garden seed fundraising has exploded on our platform. This is due in part to our great partners Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and Terroir Seeds, which offer an incredible selection of organic, non-GMO seeds for product fundraising.
So my pitch is to get your own kids interested in gardening and take a few minutes to learn how to put-up a small batch of pickled cucumbers of strawberry freezer jam. Suggest a product fundraiser using garden vegetables or even flowers by sharing links to our seed suppliers with your PTA or school booster group. You’ll be joining a movement, helping your pocketbook and bringing your kids closer to the food they eat.
–Mark Abbott, Founder/CEO of Farmraiser
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Please enjoy this short piece from our Founder Mark Abbott, and his experience with gardening. Growing up, I remember the shelves behind our basement stairs were lined with jars of canned peaches and stewed tomatoes. First dibs on the peach syrup and spaghetti and meatballs with Mom’s homemade sauce are two of my fondest and earliest memories of the food I…