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Homesteading Is Part of Bringing Back Forgotten Food Varieties

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One benefit to growing your own staple crops (or any crops) that some are already aware of, is that homesteaders are part of the movement that is helping to bring back heirloom varieties of several different fruits and vegetables.

Most of the food we have available at a typical grocery store is limited to a few varieties at most, and in some cases, we have reduced it down to just one commercially available variety (this is probably most prominent when it comes to bananas, to the point that now the entire supply is being threatened by a disease that is impacting banana trees and spreading from plantation to plantation).

Many of our parents or grandparents grew up with a much wider variety of many common foods, and by finding heirloom varieties not only can we go back and revive some of that selection, but we can discover, or rediscover, an entire world of flavors, colors, and shapes that were ignored in favor of bigger and more uniform produce, even if they had less flavor than the heirloom options. In fact, tomatoes are now often available in heirloom varieties at many major markets, which are juicier and more flavorful than the hothouse or other standard versions. Growing some heirloom produce could be more than just a way to provide your own food, it can be a way to make some extra income or obtain a desirable item for trade with neighbors or the local farmers’ market.

So, whether you are looking just to supply your own food, grow crops that you can sell to provide an income, or are part of a larger community and just doing your part to contribute, there are many factors to consider. Still, it could be homesteaders and those living off grid in general who help preserve and revive a wider variety of produce options. There are hundreds or even thousands of different crop variations that we have all but forgotten, and homesteaders could be on the frontlines of changing that, which, in my opinion, is a great thing indeed.