- I need to find a local farmer who grows meat in a humane way- I do not want to be buying into the Tyson-Perdue, etc. structure of cruelty to animals, farmers, and human workers at all
- If I do not find a local farmer and commit to eat meat of this standard, I need to just buck up and be a vegetarian again
- I want to continue to focus on eating seasonally and the methods that enable folks to do that, like freezing, preserving, storing, and drying food. Since I don't have a lot of storage from last year, I will focus on learning more and developing my strategy this season, and then I will really get into in on April 1st, like Barbara and her family did in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
I want to cut down shopping at chain grocery stores, such as Kroger, Meijer, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. Part of this involves analyzing where my food is currently coming from.
Right now (in the winter) I would say this is where my food comes from:
50% Ypsilanti Food Co-op
20% Kroger/Whole Foods/TJs
30% Restaurants, (which means I don't know where the food comes from but I can assume it's most likely not from local growers and farmers)
In the summer, my food consumption looks more like this:
70% Farmer's Market/Ypsilanti Food Co-op
My overall goal is for my average food consumption to look like this:
75% Ypsilanti Food Co-op/Farmer's Market/CSA
I'm not sure how much food I can actually grow for myself in my own yard. I've been thinking a lot about what I want to plant, etc. I need to get my soil tested @ the MSU Extension office before I plant anything because I could have led in my soil, etc. and a soil test will tell me what the pH is of my soil and a bit more about the composition.
Assuming I don't have poisionous lead-filled soil, how much food can grow in 500 sq feet?
250 of that is already devoted to raspberry & blueberry bushes that are small and will not produce a lot in the first several years.
Another 50 of that is devoted to the tall, skinny, deranged looking apple trees that we have. If we treat them with some pesticides this year, they might produce edible apples... (last year they were all wormy and chomped-up)
So that leaves me with about 200 sq feet of space left for veggies and herbs. What I can't seem to get a gauge on is how much food do I have the potential to grow, and how much of my total diet could that actually account for?
I'm doing research now on what I can plant and how much light it needs and when, etc. From all this reading and watching and learning, one thing is clear: Making healthy eating choices that are also healthy for your community and the earth is a lot of work, and it's definitely a concious choice you have to make and stick to.
I need to hop outside and get my soil sample together too, so I can get it back before I plant!! It looks nice outside- and I guess it IS nice outside, if you consider nice to be sunny and 15 degrees. :)