Growing Your Own Food - A Perfectly Natural Thing!
Because of the increasing number of reports of food being adulterated, altered, and synthesised rather than being made more natural and healthy, Kerina and I decided to plant gardens and keep rabbits and chickens and aquaponics setups. I'm writing up each system on our OFTHA website (Ours From The Heart Art) in the form of FREE e-books that are available there for download.
The point is that when supposedly fresh chicken from the supermarket is laced with antibiotics and hormones, when a lettuce in your burger can contain up to several dozen pesticides on the surface and within the cells of the plant, and when beef from your butcher can be glued together from cheap cuts, sealing toxic bacteria within the glued surfaces - when all these things happen too regularly to even make the news, then there's a problem with the food system.
It seems that while we buy these foods with out hard earned money, we are also implicitly giving the companies a mandate to keep chiselling and conniving and taking short cuts with our health. So the fastest way off the merry go round is to grow as much food as you feel competent to. Start small - a pot planted with parsley or chives is a fantastic project to begin with - and just keep going. It's totally worth it!
Considerations:By growing some of your own food, you'll be attacking the problem in a whole lot of ways:
- You and your family will have better health. Never mind all the lofty ideals about stopping rampant commercialism or saving the world, the first and foremost effect is simple, direct, and important - you and your family will be buying less adulterated foods, and eating more fresh healthy food.
- By growing some food, you're not going to be buying it from a corporation. It will only affect their bottom line a little, but with enough people adopting home food growing, the effect will finally be felt.
- Some manufacturers will go the route of more chemicals and cheaper ingredients in order to maintain profits, while a rare few will get the hint and start producing healthier more natural food. But don't count on it...
- Either way - commercialism will be slowed, by a minute but measurable amount. And that will be better for the planet, which is also a health benefit to you.
Pros And Cons:There are considerations, of course. And I realise that they'll be game enders for some people. But really, each is surmountable by ingenuity and / or intelligent application of principles. I'll tackle these one by one.
- It will be more expensive than buying ready meals and supermarket factory farmed ingredients.
- It will be about as expensive as buying organically grown produce.
- Health isn't a matter of money. NOTHING is more important than health - just ask anyone with diabetes, cancers, heart problems...
- Once you get going, economies will start to apply because you'll be working to a formula, there won't be more start-up costs, and if you work things right, you won't be spending much money at all on seed or fertilisers once you're up and running.
- It's hard to get into this at the start. There's a lot of effort involved, lots to learn.
- Start your children on a certain amount of garden chores per day. It helps them to get acquainted with gardening for food, introduces them to routines, and teaches them about Nature.
- Once you have a routine (kids or not) it becomes much easier. Also, of course, there's the initial plunge of preparing garden beds or planters, once done that's pretty much it.
- Consider the amount of work and then consider that the other way you might get fit would be to PAY to go to the gym...
- Consider how positive an effect even a small amount of exercise every day has on us, and you'll see that growing food yourself has more than one benefit...
- Much so-called "organically grown" or "organically produced" food is a bit of a misnomer, and it's used to jack up prices on conventionally factory-farmed food. You have no assurance that the food hasn't been grown with a range of products that are considered "organic" by some stretch of the Law, but actually unhealthy.
- If you grow the food yourself, you will know beyond a doubt what has gone into growing it.
- You harvest and prepare the produce yourself. That means it won't need to be rinsed in bleach to keep mold off, you don't have to pick it weeks before it's ripe so you can store it for longer in a coolroom, and you know it hasn't been in storage for several years.
- Curbing commercialism wouldn't be much use if you buy a hundred dollars' worth of gardening supplies to save the cost of forty dollars' worth of vegetables.
- As much as possible, re-use containers and tools.
- Recycle food and supplies as much as possible.
- Save seeds so you don't have to buy them every year. Sub-points 3 and this one (4) tie in with the economies mentioned in the first point above. Once you get into the recycling habit, you can save on many of the costs associated with the first year's production.
- It's supposed to be environmentally friendly and sustainable.
- Don't go overboard buying new planters that have to be manufactured, find old containers that will do the job.
- Don't dig an eighth of an acre over into arid garden beds when you only need to plant a few clumps and rows of vegetables and herbs.
- Use everything at your disposal to reduce water use and promote healthier soil. Using new planters, wetting agents, pesticides, and fertilisers is counter to the whole reason you're growing these things in the first place...
Conclusion:I'd just add here that I'm assembling the best of my gardening / homesteading tips into e-books which are available for FREE at our OFTHA website (Ours From The Heart Art) under a sub-page which is at BFZCBII. That page has a link where you can donate if you find the books useful, which is nice because it shows appreciation for my work in writing things up for your enjoyment and benefit.
If you just share this blog URL, or the OFTHA URL, or the BFZCBII URL, that is already helping to make sure we live in a saner more human-friendly world again. If you donate, I pledge to use the money to do further homesteading and farming projects and to write up the results. This all takes me time and effort as I'm a disability and age pensioner, so if I can use donations to fund things like my garden assistant and the materials, it will take pressure off my pension.