Sunday, August 17, 2014

Work. . . or Privilege?

Today I spent eight hours taking care of green beans.  8. EIGHT.  Hours.  Yes, that's right, eight hours.

Now, at the end of the day, I have the equivalent of three and a half gallons of beans canned. That's a lot of beans.  Three batches ran through my pressure canner.

Plus, a few more pounds in the fridge that I didn't get to, that will become frozen beans (for in soups and stews) tomorrow.

You are probably asking yourself who in their right mind would spend eight hours of their day working on green beans (yeah, on a Sunday, so much for my keeping Sundays open for resting. . .)

Honestly, I was asking myself the same thing about halfway through.  You know, after I'd been to the garden and picked them (first hour).  After I'd brought them to the house and sorted out the ones for freezing (half hour).  After I'd topped and tailed and snapped the ones I intended to can (two more hours). After I had rinsed them off, all those little pieces of green beans (fifteen minutes?).  I said to myself "who would do this?"

And I answered myself "someone privileged enough to grow their own food."

How many people don't have access to fresh vegetables? Can't even buy them in a store because the stores in their neighborhood don't carry fresh veggies?

How many people would like to grow a small garden, but can't, either because they don't have a yard to do so on, or because their health doesn't allow them to do the physical labor gardening requires, or because their homeowner association forbids it?

How lucky am I, how privileged, that I can grow, and harvest, and can my own green beans.  If the world as we know it ended tomorrow, if DH lost his job--our only income--my family could survive quite a while on green beans. There's probably another few gallons worth in jars down in the cellar all ready.  Not to mention the fact that the bean plants will keep pumping out new beans for another month, at least, before frost kills them.

Work?  Yeah.  But more than that.  Privilege. And security.

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