I'm often asked for instructions in how I grow those difficult crops. Or how to force crops to produce out of their season. For example, gardeners often want bulb onions or yacon year around, but the plants won't do that. While I will give suggestions, I usually pair it with the suggestion of utilizing those local crops that normally grow well. Regretfully the suggestion is often just politely cast aside. (sigh...) But at least I might have put the idea into their heads.
To achieve a sustainable diet here in Hawaii without investing in expensive screen houses and greenhouses, I find it easier to switch to veggies that I can grow. So that's exactly what I've done on the homestead -- grow more of the things that grow well here........and learn to cook with them.
...pipinola, in place of summer squash - the stem tips are edible too as a green
...sweet potato greens, in place of spinach
...New Zealand spinach, in place of spinach
...edible gourds and luffa, instead of summer squash
...landrace pumpkins, instead of winter squash
...garlic chives, in place of garlic
...salad burnet, in place of cucumbers in salads
...green onions, in place of bulbed onions
Plus utilizing unfamiliar but easily grown crops is a major step, too.
...a wide selection of Chinese greens
...rat tail radishes. They are great in stir fry when picked at 2" in length.
...local edible ferns
Some crops that grow easily here are not commonplace in the supermarkets. But they are worthy of learning how to eat.
In order to be sustainable, self sufficient, or "grow your own", I have to be flexible. And I have to be willing to try something new and unfamiliar. That's not an issue with me......but......hubby isn't all that flexible. He'd rather stick with things that he grew up with. So it's a struggle to get him to try new things and actually like them. Most of the new foods I can sneak into salads, stir fries, soups or stews. Most of the time he doesn't even notice them. About they only 'strange" new veggie he'll eat straight up is fried taro chips. He doesn't know it, but I often use puréed taro in soups and gravy as a filler and thickener. Sssshhh, don't tell him.
Changing what gets put on the dinner plate is a giant hurdle for people who want to live a more sustainable or self sufficient lifestyle. Plus being Homo sapiens, by nature we don't like change. But I've learned that in order to achieve the lifestyle I'm aiming or, then change I must.......except for those two luscious meals out each week. Every Saturday morning I hear the bacon call my name!