Thursday, June 17, 2010

Budget Constraints Are Pushing More Women To Plant Their Own Food Gardens!

The demand for organic food is reaching a fever pitch, driving prices sky high at most markets. In these difficult economic times, our household budget has to be shrunk to fit in a lot of requirements for healthier children's lunches and snacks, and  to accomodate all kinds of tastes and caprices for food.

At home, I prepare a wide variety of food to suit the tastes of the family. Our menus are never complicated, but we do try to appeal to satisfy the desire  for food ranging from ordinary Filipino-Asian food, to gourmet cuisine.

I feel that we are returning to an era where families brought in vegetables, herbs and fruits from their own gardens to be the ingredients of desire for a variety of cuisine.  The economic crisis--which is pinching all our budgets--and the shift in values has triggered the most recent collision of people  of all classes of society, patronizing the street markets instead of supermarkets. There are the hi-heeled crowd of urbanites, and ordinary housewives  who are now shopping at farmers markets at designated areas in certain cities. A few like SM Hypermart supply  restaurants with fresh fish, meats and vegetables  at wholesale prices.

 I for one prefer to  search  locally produced ingredients for a variety of cuisine that are different from the traditional Filipino food. Goat cheese, fresh rosemary sprigs, hand picked and roasted coffee beans, and cultivated honey from neighborhood apiary contribute to an interesting combination of cuisine we serve at home.

Economic  factors are pushing those who live in the cities, to start their own potted herbal gardens at home, or to venture to the rural areas to  find a larger tract of land in the countryside to set up a small farm.

Farming in the backyard has put agriculture back in the mainstream. A growing awareness of  the methods in starting a small vegetable garden is becomming easy with access to the internet, One can find any subject from raising free range chickens, to planting rice from many websites on these topics. 

There is a committed desire for fresh, unpolluted (and unpolluting) organic produce. There is a concern now for the environment  with the reality of global warming; the need for alternative sources of energy, and the ever-increasing sophistication of Manila  cooks. There are blogs that show  the proliferation of self-described "foodies" and the demand for varied, "gourmet" produce. Families are going to nearby agricultural communities to get in contact with mother nature, and to get away from a frantic world.

I am happy to know that everyone is interested in  food gardening, and that it should really be a result of a number of the educated population for natural products and organic food.