Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chiquita Banana Habit

As a nation, I believe we need to take a close look at some of our habits. Some of these habits we really need to lose, to help both the environment and our debts, personal and national. So, for the next few days until something more exciting happens in my garden, I'll be talking about some of these habits I worry about.

The Chiquita Banana Habit
This is what I like to call our year-long love of exotic fruits. Kiwis in mid-December, pineapples and bananas flown in a constant stream from countries near the equator, etc. The petroleum consumption on these fruits is staggering. The simplest fix? Learn to love local fruits in season. Spend a year going to the farmers market every week, learn the cycles of the fruits and how to best preserve them. Scared of canning? You can do wonders with a 30$ dehydrator and some ziplock bags. Spend June gorging on strawberries, spend July stuffing yourself with blueberries, August buried in peaches and get your apple a day in September. Preserve some of the overflow and eat those during the winter until rhubarb is ready in the spring. Your money will stay in your own community, and it lessens our dependence on both foreign oil and foreign foodstuffs.
Better yet, grow some of your own fruits. Strawberries are pretty easy to take care of, and most gardeners with an established bed have to give away strawberry starts every few years when their beds need thinning or containing. I get all my strawberry starts that way. (Thanks Karen!) A single fruit tree, when properly chosen for your zone can yield bushels of fruit reliably for years.

Anyway, think about it at least and the next time you're at the store reaching for that peach from Chile, maybe give yourself an IOU for a Missouri peach in August and reach for a locally grown apple instead.

Next installment in my habits discussion: The Habit That's Driving us to the Poorhouse.

1 comment:

Chino said...

this was actually very refreshing to read. I totally agree with everything you said, how could I not? It's jst good common sense. An excellent suggestion!
I thought you were going to start preaching about how we as Americans SHOULD live our lives... I was mistaken. I was mistaken right..? Of course, I'm not a fruit guy, never had much desire for them. I like veggies, the greener the better. I recommend collard greens, brussel sprouts, asparagus, cant forget spinach. Mmmmm-mmmmm!
Kiwi's, no thanks.