I started wondering if I am the only mad person growing 30 tomato plants, 120 onions, 29 potatoes, 24 cabbage, etc., like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter. Except for the friends in my area, everyone else is growing the token two to three tomato plants, along with some lettuce, radishes, cucumber, and a few pepper plants. The first part of Jonathan Safran Foer’s book, “We Are the Weather,” brings up the curious observation that people may have all the facts but do not act on them. I forget if he comes to any conclusion as to why. It is a very good book.
We have all the facts about the climate crisis, and many people are on board with doing something about it . . . like NOW. But, are they growing their own food? Not really. They are looking at the larger, governmental plan. While I can see that the governmental plan is the best way to implement community gardens and local food in their overall plan, which would also include getting rid of the grocery store or redesigning it to contain only local necessary items . . . hmm . . . and doing away with processed food as the way to go. But, why wait? We can do that now.
People could be starting their community gardens with other friends and neighbors. Someone could be in charge of growing the tomatoes, another person could grow the potatoes, and on and on. How it gets worked out in big cities is another question but there is a solution for that, too.
But, let’s add the fact that the whole pandemic and its urgency has overshadowed the whole climate crisis. Greta was in the news, along with the Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion, almost daily. Now? . . . nothing. We are still on course to see humanity become history if we do nothing. Granted the pandemic is something we can see before our very eyes, while the climate crisis happens in slow motion in the distance of disappearing Arctic Sea ice and polar bears going extinct.
Let’s not forget . . . resource depletion. The thing no one talks about that I harp about every chance I get.
So, back to the reason why I am growing buckwheat. I wanted to add a grain to the list of most storable vegetables . . . to get me through the winter. Although I am not a squirrel, indigenous peoples thought ahead about the winter and what they would eat. As I planned my garden, canned tomatoes, sauerkraut, pole beans, onions, garlic, butternut squash, potatoes, and, a grain were all on the list to get into the dirt. While radishes and lettuce are a tasty treat, they won’t be there in the dead of winter as the snow is beating against the window and piling up in my driveway.
How did I choose buckwheat? It is in the list of grains to try to grow. Quinoa, millet, rice, and oats are also on the list. I don’t even eat buckwheat, although I have tried it, and it was tasty. It has a lot of protein, it grows fast, has deep roots to choke out the weeds, and is good for the soil. Those are good reasons right there! I do have to find out how to dehull it, which won’t happen for a month or so.
Right now it is in flower at about 4’ high. It hasn’t fallen down yet, as a friend mentioned may happen with a hard rain or storm. The deer haven’t discovered it yet. Shhh . . . let’s not say that too loud. Maybe they are waiting until the buckwheat shows up.
I am really excited about this new endeavor. Excited about growing buckwheat? Do I need a life? Not really . . . I have one . . . and this is part of it!