Monday November 24, 2014

Changing few of producing safe food


Have you ever looked back a few years and wondered just what happened?

It struck me recently as I ate a slab of pie at a small little café in Roblin, MB. how things have changed. On the table were tablecloths which had been hand embroidered with flowers.

Now it might have been a case where the Saskatoon pie I was enjoying was the best I’ve had since grandma, but the moment took me back to grandma’s house where every table in the place was covered with tablecloths she embroidered or crocheted.

It reminded me it was a different time where people did much more for themselves.

It had me wondering how many people under the age of 50 could darn a hole in a pair of socks these days (and I will admit at 54 I myself have no idea of how it is done as I would struggle sewing on a button)?

The thoughts of the past sharpened a short time later as I attended the Yorkton Horticultural Society summer show.

The event still attracted a good selection of flowers, but the fruits and vegetable table was rather small.

The lack of fruit and vegetable entries suggested two things.

The first is that in our busy world showing what we have grown in a public forum such as the YHS event is something many no longer devote the time to do.

And it also hints at the fact there are fewer and fewer people growing their own good in local gardens.

Certainly a drive down back alleys in any city will confirm that. Where once a person would have found a vegetable garden in every backyard, today the garden is a rarity.

The situation seems strange set against the cultural suggesting these days that people are increasingly concerned about where their food comes from.

If one really wants to ensure food is grown the way they desire it, then the best way would be to plant the seeds in spring, tend the garden through summer, and harvest and preserve the food themselves come fall.

That was the way of things for my grandparents, and parents. The garden was huge.

Each fall bags of potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips and cabbages went into the cellar.

Jars of raspberry, strawberry, current and rhubarb jams and jellies were made and stored.

Beans and peas and corn went to the freezer.

Cucumbers became dill pickles, and relishes.

And on and on it went.

Add butchered pork from the barn, and a coop full of chickens, into the freezer, and the menu for a long winter was set.

Today we seem not to have the time to grow our food, or to knit afghans, or crochet doilies.

So we head to the store to buy what people once created, or grew at home.

And then we worry about things such as quality of life and food safety. Perhaps we need only look to our recent past for a way to satisfy those concerns.

Calvin Daniels is Assistant Editor with Yorkton This Week.



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