“Growing your own Organic food is like printing your own money“– Chef David Slay, Slay’s Restaurants, Stanton California
- The #1 rule for growing nutrient dense food is healthy soil. Protect it by diversifying your plants, avoiding tilling and by covering the surface with cover crops or mulch
- Quality seeds are essential. In small spaces you can grow your plants in pots indoors or on balconies and enjoy nutritious powerhouse sprouts all year long.
There are many reasons more people are buying seeds and planting their own gardens. One of the Key reasons is that you have control over growing your food Organically and you can enjoy some of the freshest produce available.
During WWs I and II the government encouraged Americans to grow their own food to help the war effort.
These plots of land were commonly called “Victory Gardens,” but were also known as “War Gardens” and “food gardens for defense.”
During WWI, the new US Food Administration was created to regulate “the supply, distribution and conservation of food during the war.”
In response to the need for food conservation during WWI, Charles Chambers created a poster which was printed in several languages.
The famous first line, “Food will win the war,” was often quoted as it encouraged people to live simply and grow food.
WWII began a short 21 yrs later. Unable to maintain food distribution to the military and allies, against whom starvation was being used as a weapon, the government again turned to promoting Victory Gardens as they began food rationing. The campaign was successful throughout both World Wars.
History.com reports that in Y 1942 there were roughly 15-M gardens planted, which grew by 5-M in Y 1944.
These produced approximately 8-M tons of food, accounting for more than 40% of the fresh produce eaten that year in the U.S: “Although the government’s promotion of victory gardens ended with the war, a renaissance movement has sprouted up in recent years in support of self-sufficiency and eating seasonally to improve health through local, organic farming and sustainable agriculture.”
The interest in organic gardening at home has been growing, recently spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic.6 This also may be a consequence of a growing understanding of the current food “war” we all fight against an industry that has flooded the market with chemicals and junk food.7
These tactics have driven rising numbers of chronic disease,8 health care costs and deaths as many are deceived about the long-term safety of processed foods. One law school professor calls this movement “GRAS-Fed Americans,” in reference to the FDA category of “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) foods that are not subject to approval as they are:9
“… generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use …”
One of my consistent messages in this column is that Real food is foundational to good health.
Processed foods, filled with toxins, dyes and sugars, are a primary driver of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death, causing about 647,000 deaths each year. Diabetes, 1 risk factor for heart disease, was the cause of 83,564 deaths in Y 2017, and it contributed to 270,702 more. Both diseases are influenced by multiple factors, but mostly by metabolic (food) dysfunction.
One of the obvious benefits to growing your own food at home is reducing your risk of exposure to glyphosate and pesticides.
When you plant your own garden you can also enjoy these benefits Chef Slay says:
- Improved nutrition: Homegrown food is usually more diverse, flavorful and nutritious than processed foods bought from a store. Straight from the garden, food retains more of its vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Increased activity: Physical activity, movement and exercise are part and parcel of tending to a garden and also important to maintaining optimal health.
- Heliotherapy: Exposure to the Sun ramps up your vitamin D production. This is important to your immune health, as it improves your mood and exposes you to fresh air.
- Strengthened environmental health: Using organic principles, your food supply does not pollute the waterways, does not rely on transportation to reach the consumer, just walk outside and pick your vegetables.
- Stress reduction: The authors of a Dutch study found that gardening after a stressful task reduced cortisol levels. It also improves your sleep.
Start small for big results; start with quality seeds for quality produce. Seek out a supplier who sells heirloom seeds that are not genetically modified. This ensures you are getting the best plant possible and that these are better suited to Organic growing conditions, anyone can do it!
After choosing what you want to grow, take care to prepare your potting soil or garden carefully. You will find growing instructions specific to your plant needs, including natural ways to reduce pest damage from many sources on the Internet, like this 1 below:
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively
Have a healthy weekend, Keep the Faith!
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