Peas and potatoes, coronavirus and food resilience

Worldwide, the U.S. leads in confirmed coronavirus cases, according to the New York Times. Food resilience—what is happening with our food—is a hot topic. I’m looking at a number of podcasts now, and hearing (and seeing, from my own observations), what foods are going fast in the supermarkets—it’s not fresh oranges or celery. People are grabbing snacky foods, for sure. Interestingly, flour seems to be in short supply. So, maybe we’ve got some Victory Baking going on as well.

A poster from the Minneapolis Defense Council urged planting.Credit…Minnesota Historical Society/Getty Images (and, from NYT, previously cited)

People have never been more interested in Victory Gardens (the NYT also reports)—not surprising! But how to make that happen?

It’s March. It’s spring. This is the time to start thinking of those gardens. The problem is the soil is still cold and wet across the northern United States. Working soils that are wet, clayey and low in organic matter, could damage soil structure. Wait until the soils warm up some. In terms of what to plant, consider shelling peas (many plant as early as  President’s Day). Potatoes may be another early crop for you, too. Just think—peas and potatoes, early peas and new potatoes. You could probably subsist on those two foods.

A couple cups of potatoes delivers almost one-fifth of the carbohydrates and calcium we need each day, and a fifth of the fiber.  A cup of peas, another fifth of the fiber and about 15% protein (although amount of protein we need is somewhat controversial, as I discuss in Finding Balance).




This meal is starting to look pretty good, but we definitely need to find some fat—I get mine from my sheep cheese (just four tablespoons and I can get a hefty amount of fat and calcium; all these calculations here).

Early spring volunteer chives and overwintered kale

Let’s get out in the garden! Let’s do this!

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