ConsumerismProject Positions

Why You Should Grow and Produce Your Own Food

by Elisabeth Fekonia

There is a definite trend for people to question the quality of shop bought food — that is, food grown with chemical inputs. Younger mothers of small children, in particular, are getting very conscious of the chemical residues, low nutritional status and additives in our modern ‘food’. There certainly is a growing realization out there that only organic food should be put on the dinner table to ensure that children will grow up strong, healthy, smart so they can reach their full potential.

Buying organic produce can become expensive however, especially when a lot of people are doing it tough. The real answer lies in home food production and that means rolling up your sleeves and getting into the veggie garden and growing it for yourself. This can become a whole new outlook on life concerning feeding the family, and it is usually the woman who will want to nurture her family into having excellent health by growing and producing her own food. This of course can become very time consuming and it is very hard to achieve when working full or even part time. Consideration will have to be given how time is best spent — working for money, or growing food so you don’t need to earn as much….

In the end it comes down to making the firm decision that it might be better to downsize the lifestyle and spend quality time on creating homegrown food for the family. It is an ideal that many people now aspire to, but the reality often seems so far away. One reason is of course that we have been alienated from home food production for several generations and we have lost the skills to do so. A lack of knowledge and skills will make it very difficult for people to achieve the desired outcome, and often the desire fades away into oblivion as life gets in the way and business as usual takes over.

So how can this desirable and noble vocation be achieved in the midst of our frenetically busy lives? It certainly can be a challenge as everybody, including myself, seems to be time poor these days. Yet it is possible. I’m telling you it really is — says me, while munching on some home made brie cheese on a bikkie and sipping a glass of plum wine as I’m writing this article.

I think of the lunch I cooked up earlier today when a friend came to visit: fresh greens from the garden, a cucumber, a couple of tomatoes of different varieties served up with a veggie omelette with eggs from my chooks and some smoked bacon from one of my piggies, topped of with some grated cheddar cheese. These foods are all homegrown and the list goes on. It is possible, I tell you, but it takes hard work. It’s like anything in life; it doesn’t just come to you just because you want it. You need to learn, research, read, ask questions or even do a course on how to grow your own food. But when you have the knowledge (and isn’t knowledge empowering?) you can then set out to achieve the objective.

Prepare the vegetable garden, propagate the seed into seedlings, grow them into healthy plants and harvest them to prepare for the family to enjoy. What joy and delights are awaiting for those that take the plunge. There is nothing like the satisfaction of enjoying the fruits of your labour. That sense of achievement when you can sit at the dinner table and say this, this and that came from the garden and only this and that came from the shop. It won’t be long after that you can say all this came from the garden. I grew it all myself.

What a joy and a delight to be able to produce your own food, what a saving in money, food miles and environmental impact. What a gain in nutritional value. What great taste. What a sense of achievement and empowerment.

Oh well, you get the picture. I wouldn’t change this life for the world. Nobody can take my yummy home made food from me — you see it’s very addictive, anything else is just second rate.


Come and learn with me! I’m a permaculture teacher and I’m looking for one or two interns to come and stay at my farm on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. I’m on 6 acres at Black Mountain and grow and produce most of my own food. I can teach you all I know about home food production through hands on experience on the farm and also at workshops and courses that I conduct on the Sunshine Coast. I’m looking for someone who eats a general diet including meat. Most food served at meals will be organic. I would like a stay of around ten weeks or more and board and lodging will be $200 per week to help with costs incurred. I live 7 kilometres from Cooroy and a half hour drive from Noosa. Please check out the post written by Carly Gilham on the PRI website to give you a bit of an idea of what my place is like, and you can also check out my website to see what kind of topics of food production I cover. I look forward to hearing from anyone that might be interested. Contact: info (at)


  1. Wow what an inspiring article so very close to my heart. We live on 8 acres and are also trying to produce some of our own food and yes life does get in the way with juggling two small children, working and trying to build a rammed earth house and business all at the same time! Reading articles like this makes me want to keep living the dream and doing the hard yards now so that we can live the life we want and make a better world for our children to grow up in. I attended the Permaculture conference in Cairns last year and it was also inspiring mostly to meet other like minded Permies who are all doing so many great projects all over the world. Thankyou for your story and I will forward it on to our local seedsaver members, Pacific Palms, NSW.

  2. Hi Elisabeth,

    My husband and I would love to attend one of your Cheese making classes but the last two haven’t suited the work schedule. When is your next one held?

  3. Great article! I’ve been a homemaker since the birth of our daughter and we as a family are in the course of “reskilling” so that we can become more self-sufficient (and healthy). My husband is taking his PDC this year and I will do mine next year. We are looking for land, until then it’s permaculture in suburbia–we have a very small yard but are planting in raised beds to meet as much of our food needs as possible. For those who haven’t read it yet, I recommend the book Radical Homemaking by Shannon Hayes–one of her interviewees is Nance Klehm, the Chicago activist whose humanure composting project was in the news on this site.

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