Made from Scratch Discussion 3 – Let’s talk about gardens

This is a continuation of our discussion on Made From Scratch by Jenna Woginrich.

How is the burst in popularity of vegetable gardening relatable to our increasingly unstable food supply? Is it possible to entirely control your food supply?


Explore the idea of cooperative farming. Can today’s urban homesteader make their self-sufficiency dream come true in a cooperative?

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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.
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10 Responses to Made from Scratch Discussion 3 – Let’s talk about gardens

  1. Sarah Scott says:

    I have just ordered this book from Amazon… Can’t wait for it to arrive.
    Now I have not read the book but I do believe that you can feed your family from your own supply with minimal supplements from the grocery store or barter with fellow home growers/dairy farmers… etc.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Sarah, I hope that you will come back and visit all of the past discussions as you read the book! 🙂 We would love to have you and the discussions will be kept open.

  2. Susan says:

    I’ve been working toward self sustainability during the growing the season in an urban setting. I’ve yet to be successful at it, but I can say that I’ve produced enough, at times, to make complete meals three or four times a week.

    Issues: not enough space, urban critters using raised beds as bathrooms, and of course the weather.

    But, as another urban gardener told me this spring when I told her my self sustainability dream, “You do realize that it’s a full time job?” And I kind of know that, but I still want to be able to do it.

    I supplement what I grow from a CSA and White House Meats, which provides my meat from local, grass fed, humanely slaughtered meat. I’m also able to get free range chicken eggs through them.

    I’ve also started two urban bee colonies and hope to be able to harvest honey next year.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      We were just talking about this very thing this week – that is, producing food being a full time job. A thought we had: Do you realize that in that past most people spent over 50% of their time procuring food for their families? Now we seem to only spend 5-10% at most on food gathering and preparation.

      Why do you think this is?

      Also, I have to shamelessly plug Joel’s new book – Folks, This Ain’t Normal – which discusses this very thought in one of his chapters.

      • Susan says:

        Interesting, I also can a lot of food that I get from local farmers’ markets. I can because I’ve always wanted to, but some of my older friends, whose mothers canned out of necessity hate canning. And I agree….it’s a lot of work, during the hottest part of the year. I can because it’s meaningful to me. But I don’t have to can to feed myself during the non producing season.

  3. Marci says:

    We are blessed to raise and grow much of our food. We do a bit extra to make ours free for labor. It is a choice. We can’t get away for vacation or even a weekend easily. We have chores in the evening, so we are limited through the week what we can do. These are choices we made though. We have been doing this for quite awhile now. Our son is grown and married and not on the farm anymore. My husband works full time off the farm. We have a milk cow and there is work in making cheese and butter and yogurt and sour cream. However, it is SO WORTH it to us.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Keep up the good work, Marci. I applaud you and your family. The commitment it takes to grow your own food is not for the faint of heart.

  4. Gio Bellino says:

    I LOVE being so self sufficient during the growing season. By early spring most of what I’ve canned or frozen is just about gone. Every year the garden gets bigger and the work is a little overwhelming but so rewarding. I forget that I live in a large suburban town on Long Island, NY and feel like I’m from a different generation, sort of timeless. It’s like a meditation, working the soil.

    Since visiting Polyface on Field Day this month I’m more motivated than ever and trying to get to a new level of buying local farm raised meats and eggs. Reading Lunatic Farmer and You Can Farm at the same time. I was at the American Meat premiere and the tasting afterward and felt I was a part of something so special and blessed. Can’t wait for the new book to come out.

    • Good work on the canning and freezing, Gio. :)I agree with you, there is something calming about working the soil and being in nature.

      Also, thank you for spending part of your summer with us. We are honored!

  5. Erin Herner says:

    I came across your blog after reading some of Joel’s books, then finding the website… anyway, I read this book after seeing it here, and I really loved it. Between it and Joel’s book You Can Farm helped me see real steps I can take from my current situation as a working suburbanite to becoming a homesteader/farmer.
    I’m just beginning to try to garden to provide as much of our produce as possible. I really like the idea of being as self-sufficient as possible, and really enjoy growing things anyway. I can see, though, that to provide enough food throughout the year for 4 people takes a fair bit of planning… so you have enough of the things you eat a lot, and not too many plants of things you only eat a little, and balancing things you tend to eat fresh like greens with things that keep a while or can be preserved. It’s a challenge I enjoy.