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Gardening Resources with Dr. Slate

I grew up around gardens. Our family and most of our extended family kept at least a modest garden. And many of our family members picked wild blackberries when in season. It just all seemed natural. What did I know? I was a kid. I thought everybody grew up tending gardens, picking grapes in season, bagging blackberries and even arrowheads. 

I later discovered the field of economics and became very interested in economic history and particularly the production of food.  It is obvious but worth repeating: You do not have a stable society without a stable food supply. It quite literally is impossible.

Today's modern economy evolved with big grocery, big farms and big chemical companies. It is not all bad, of course. You cannot feed the billions of people on earth without massive production of food. The system, however, puts individual households at risk of food insecurity. First there is the direct connection between energy and big food. Big food depends on energy and lots of it. Second is the threat when the supply chain becomes disrupted as it did recently in the 2020-2022 period.

The system also creates many processed foods that has led to many health issues such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular issues to name a few. Obviously fresh is best.

Finally the system creates more waste per lb of food as compared to home food production. Have you ever considered the transportation costs of our big food system? What about the annual cost of big scale fertilization? And when comparing pounds of food per square foot of space the typical home garden performs better at 50% or more. This is because the massive rows needed to move tractors is not needed in a backyard garden. You do not even need rows for the backyard garden.

So I started an initiative to promote food production at the household level. I volunteer for local non-profits with kindred concerns and manage the Gardening Resources with Dr. Slate webpage. This page provides blog and food news posts as well as basic, non-confusing, resources for new gardeners. Seeds and supplies are offered as well at budget friendly prices. The goal is to encourage more household level food production.

Thank you so much for visting and please consider joining us. A monthly newsletter link is below.

~Happy Gardening~

Jamie Slate, Phd, Economic History, University of Tennessee, 1995

Certification in Soils and Plants, North Carolina State University, 2023

Adjunct Professor of Economics, University of Maryland Global Campus

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Jamie Slate - Blogger, Gardener & Historian of Agricultural Economics

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