Futures Market

I’m not a fortune teller, nor am I clairvoyant. But I will make one prediction today: the price of oil and gasoline will continue to rise in the days and years to come, and the cost of food, meats and grains will go up as well. And while I don’t trade on the CME, I am doing something to hedge against rising food prices. I am growing food. And for me, that is empowering. It’s my action plan!

my idea of coffee futures (click on any image to enlarge)

My relatively small investment in seeds, plants, and time will grow into a larger harvest of vegetables and fruit. To be sure, not every year will be a bumper year for everything I grow. But with diversity, the chances of success increase. My wife and I grow around 30 different kinds of vegetables here, and almost a dozen different fruits. And we’re always looking to expand our choices.

seedlings under fluorescent lights

Right now is a busy time here at HA. I kicked off seed-starting season a couple of weeks ago, and there are still plenty more seeds to sow in the near future. This week I transplanted some of the early seedlings into larger quarters. Many of the plants are showing their first true leaves already, like the cabbage plant in the below photo.

this cabbage seedling has a future here

And while new seedlings hold the promise of future harvests, we’re still collecting the payoff from past efforts. Our fall and winter plantings are keeping us fed, even while spring and summer are just around the corner.

lettuce, spinach and arugula = future salads

Growing my own food acts as a buffer against rising food prices, but I would do it for the taste alone even if it didn’t save money. After all, how can anyone put a price on the first fresh homegrown asparagus of the season? And I mean really fresh asparagus, not the stuff that passes for fresh in most groceries.

first asparagus of 2011

As I sit here writing, the spot price of gold is $1714 an ounce (according to the ticker at CNBC) and the price of oil is north of $107 a barrel. But the value of the food we grow here can’t be tracked by an index or a ticker symbol, because to me it’s priceless!

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