Even though we had a great garden last year, we still shop at our local farmers market to supplement our food supply. No matter how nice your garden is, sometimes you need more food to feed the family. And it doesn’t hurt to have more variety either.
More Minibeds have been added, and more variety has grown
Transform our garden into Eric Kimballs Minibeds on plastic Our gardening system helped us create the most productive growing space possible. (Read more here about our garden arrangements.) We used the extra time at home during quarantine to expand our garden with more small beds. At the same time, expanding the varieties of what we were growing to give us more choices. Everything we planted grew well. By July, we had a garden in full production. Improving our garden helped us become more self-reliant and increased our food security during and after the pandemic.
Minibeds on the plastic system didn’t save us a huge amount of food. But it led to a significant increase in the variety of vegetables that grow in the garden. Our garden has changed a little and has grown very quickly.
Our first harvest was small, but we were excited!
By June, we started harvesting our crops. It wasn’t much but it included Better Boy tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, Tomatillos, and zucchini.
We had several crops per week throughout the growing season.
Grow what you can, and do the rest
Our garden was producing well every week and we ate most of what we grew. Nothing was in vain.
Many of us suffer from fragility Food supply and supply chain during the pandemic. The display issues seem to have drastically affected both the house cleaning equipment and the meat supply. persistent problems Food supplies encountered during covid It caused concern of severe food shortages in late fall and throughout the winter. We realized we couldn’t count on groceries as food shortages and rationing started to hit our area. So we started canning and drying whatever we produced on top of what we were eating.
Beginning in the fall, every time we cut the garden, we canned some crops. We used to get a lot of fruit and vegetables from our garden all summer months, which was plenty for us. But we needed something more to supplement our food supply to get through the lean months of fall and winter. Illinois winters can be long and cold, and in the spring, it may not be until June when the garden starts producing again.
So, we looked for a way to supplement our supply of garden products.
Best farmers market ever!
We live on the edge of suburbs, about 20 miles from St. Louis. St. Louis has a great farmers market, the best we have ever found. If you haven’t visited and had the opportunity, please do. called Solard Farmer Market. Just south of downtown St. Louis, the Farmers Market has all the fruits, vegetables, breads, and meats you could ever need.
Most (but not all) fruits and vegetables at the farmers market are grown locally. We have developed a relationship with a local vendor and will purchase large quantities of fruits and vegetables to supplement what we grow in our garden.
Last year, our daughter started making organic dog food for her two dogs. It uses a huge amount of rice, zucchini, carrots and a few other items. We wanted to make sure we had enough to feed the dogs this winter, along with a pantry full of vegetables that we could use for soup, pizza sauce, ketchup and snacks. So, in one visit to the Solard Farmers Market, we bought 200 pounds of tomatoes, 200 pounds of carrots, 200 pounds of zucchini, 200 pounds of jalapenos, and 200 pounds of tomatoes for canning!
Daisy shares the link In this article For 9 home recipes for vet-approved dogs so you can help your little ones thrive.
We spent all weekend canning these vegetables.
Develop good relationships with sellers
If you are not a farmer and do not have access to land or enough experience to grow all the food you need, you can supplement your food by purchasing what you need from the farmers market. I highly recommend building good relationships with sellers.
A vendor at Soulard Market gave us a great price on the products. Less than what we would buy from the supermarket. And he had unlimited supplies! Our relationship developed, and we placed an order with him earlier in the week. On Saturday, we were stopping by the farmers market to pick up the order. He’s been great to work with, and the range of fruits and vegetables he can serve up is great.
I’m sure most cities have their version of Soulard Farmer’s Market. And product sellers will be more than willing to sell you as much as you need.
A family can together…
We found plenty of resources on YouTube for videos on how to do this, and had a great time. Even if you live in an urban or suburban area, you can still stock up on organic foods to prepare for the times you need them.
We had five people in the kitchen chopping, slicing, peeling, boiling and having a great time. We did it together as a family and shared food between our three families. By sourcing for the farmers market, we have also helped produce vendors during the tough times caused by the pandemic. Food production slowed and the number of people willing to go to the farmer’s market fell.
We made two or three trips to Soulard Store Market. The result was full stores for three families and a great sense of comfort. No matter what happened with the supply chain, we still have food security for the winter months. Our pantry lasted all year round.
Oh, in June, we made some great soup from the last nut soup we harvested from the garden last fall. The butternut squash was well kept in the dark and cool basement, and we enjoyed the delicious soup.
Daisy has a few articles on canning, too. You can read these over here And over here. And check out Daisy’s book, Prepper . Canning Guide.
Now we have beautiful relationships, peace of mind and closer to self-reliance
By eating what we grow and supplementing it with produce from the farmers market, we give our family peace of mind. We’ve met some amazing people along the way who are dedicated to growing organic foods and selling them straight from producer to consumer. It is always a good idea to eliminate the middle man and to have as few hands as possible touching our food before we eat it.
We were able to prepare the food ourselves and had plenty for our three families as we shared our resources. This year we plan the same. The park is up and running, and we’ve added a few minibars to the system. We will continue the relationships we built at the farmers market.
Do you have a favorite farmer’s market?
If you are looking to stabilize your food supply, it may be worth a visit to your local farmers market. Vendors and farmers need your business as much as you need their products. Have you been to a local farmers market recently? Have you supplemented your food supply with locally grown produce? Tell us and other readers about it in the comments section below.
Source: Organic Prepper
Rick Marshall lives in the suburbs of Illinois in St. Louis and founded the Mission Endure website and podcast.