What is the goal of all this work? All this time spent looking at catalogs, reading about varieties, and learning about companion planting? Why are we spending time tilling and preparing the soil, and other outdoor work in the less than warm weather? To reach the goal of most gardeners, farmers, and others who work the soil in hopes of a summer bounty.
The goal of all this work is an abundance of delicious food, that is not only beautiful but healthy; free from chemicals and unwanted biological experiments. Food that we dream about in the cold in winter. Food that makes our mouth water as we count the days until it is ready to harvest, making us act much like a child in a candy store.
However, it takes time and toil to get there, a labor of love one might say. Another thing that goes along with this labor is sharing the knowledge and skill with those who want to learn about supplying their own food. Sharing with our brothers and sisters is not only a good thing to do, it strengthens the community and reduces food insecurity.
Many communities have large areas that are designated as “food deserts”, especially in the middle of urban areas. There is not a state in the nation that doesn’t have a few. This is almost inconceivable when so many cities seem to have plenty of shopping centers. Unfortunately, in West Virginia, we are pretty competitive in the number of food deserts within the state.
A foot desert is defined as a location that have either low income or low access to fresh food, which means that at least 33% of the population live more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store in urban areas or 10 miles in rural areas. This USDA map of WV is from a tool available at on the USDA website. You can search your own area or any place in the United States.
So, what is the goal of all this work? The answer to the question might just be more complex than one would think. The answer might just be to change the life of those in your community by helping them improve their live and build a community.