Years ago I hired a jack-hammer and totally destroyed my backyard. Before I unleashed my wobbly electric powered fury that backyard space was a flatland of cement. The people the owned the place before me must have liked clean easy living. I can kind of understand that. But it was what lay underneath that easy to maintain cemented backyard that had me intrigued.
In a year my yard transformed from a lifeless slab of cement, to a jungle of food. It's a great metaphor for the change that occurred inside of me. I was pretty happy eating McDonalds, KFC and any form of easy processed food that would fill my belly. I left that life and found something more real. I guess I had some sort of awakening. I wish it was more dramatic, like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, having his mountain building moments. But for me it was just lame and gradual. Each time I discovered something depressing about the food production machine, the more determined I became to remove myself from any association with it. I'm still not perfect. I don't expect I'll ever be. But I do enjoy where I am right now.
Under that concrete slab was soil. Soil in which I started to grow food. I learnt so much along the way. I learnt a great deal about growing vegetables. I also learnt a good deal about myself, and what I wanted in life. I learnt that you can grow too much of something (e.g. corn) and I learnt that it's imperative to preserve it. Because just around the corner, lean times may lurk.
Committing to living off what is seasonal, means a bit of extra work. I wont lie. I figured out that all I had to do was shuffle some 'priorities' around and viola! I had time to be more useful. And I don't mind it, the extra work that is. Sure I might grumble a bit, but thats just my nature. I'm a grumpy ol' bastard at times. But when I have moments like this, there isn't a chance in hell that I'll be grumbly. My girls and I, spending time in the kitchen, blanching corn, cooling it and freezing it. A simple task for sure and it's one in which we all shall enjoy the benefits of down the line. In winter I'll make the kids many dinners of corn fritters. With a crunchy bread crumb layer and soft insides. Corn fritters where each individual corn kernal pops that sweetness of summer in your mouth. It's a happy land, where the rivers are made of corn fructose.
It's amazes me what I can grow. It amazes me what WE can grow. At times, I think if we all did some of this kind of living then we'd all have too much. The possibilities are pretty amazing. Just like the potential of that soil laying restfully under that concrete backyard.