The OVER processing of America. Why we need to garden.
Did you ever wonder why our foods today don't seem to provide the same nourishment as they did say, 50 years ago? Could it be the processing of our foods? Could it be how our foods are grown? What has changed in the last 75 years? The last 50 years? What is wrong with our food!?
America is no longer the land of milk and honey. Well, we are but our milk is ultra pasteurized, homogenized, and sold in plastic. Our honey is some sort of mixture of sweeteners and flavorings that have little to do with real honey. Is it any wonder with genetically engineered crops that our humble honey bees are dropping like flies?
Our society is all about fast, now, and instant gratification. We are a society of processes; from our food to our high-tech gadgets we desire one thing, speed. Our carbon footprint mirrors bigfoot's jumbo sized appendages and we shop at Wal-Mart for our apples. Is it any wonder that we eat food but are never satisfied?
I just spent the last week on an experiment of sorts. I discovered some things about our family food habits and changes are made and will be made in the coming weeks. The fact remains though that our food stinks. Before it even arrives in our stores and makes its way to our tables, it's rotten. Its full of chemicals and oils are rancid. Is it any wonder we are obese, stick thin, sick, and dying?
Some people contend that many of the practices used in the mega mono-agriculture farms of today actually encourage plants to not go deep into the soil pulling up needed nutrients, something heirloom or open pollinated plants once prevalent in our gardens readily did. Plant diversity is important and when farmers plant hundreds of acres in one crop (MONO-AGRICULTURE) they not only are discouraging sustainability but they are spiraling themselves into a cycle of dependence. Did you know its virtually illegal for farmers to save seeds today? Farmers today are dependent on large corporations which own patents on plants forcing farmers to buy new seed year after year. One study I read years ago even discussed that this dependence in developing nations like India were actually harming families by the droves. What was so in developing nations in 2000 when I first started discussing this issue is seen today in our farm belts. Large companies like Monsanto and Dupont own our farms lock stick and barrel, or at minimum they hold our farmers over a barrel. Add into that our governments practice of subsidizing farmers we shouldn't be surprised that our food reeks. Farmers no longer have the freedom to grow and become sustainable and they are discouraged from practicing bioregionalism. One day our farmers were our life blood, but today they are struggling to make ends meet as regulations, stipulations, and obligations to corporations force them into bankruptcy court. Our food suffers. We suffer. Our children SUFFER.
We need to garden in an effort to ensure a healthy food supply for our family. We must garden to secure a healthier future and for heirloom seeds to continue on. As we push onward to pesticide resistant seeds we lose long standard varieties which have a proven track record, proven taste, and proven ability to grow in our area, happily in our climate, despite too much rain or too little.
We must garden to preserve our health and our sanity. Gardening provides two healthy things in our lives; food and exercise. Gardening gives one a sense of calm and peace. Plus, if you are mad at something or someone, pulling weeds can give you pause to think and reflect. Yep, your garden is your claim to VICTORY! Your claim to overcoming. Your claim to health and peace.
Seed saving is a lost art. In recent years there has been a strong push to buy needed seed year after year as seed producers create seed which can't reproduce themselves. One thing I want to discuss at a later time is seed saving and some tips I am learning. Your Victory Garden can and should produce more than just food for this year. To that end I want to encourage you to purchase good quality seed. Preferred open pollinated or heirloom varieties of some simple plants. This year let's start with things like sunflowers, beans, pumpkins, marigolds, and a winter squash (I am going to discuss Hubbard Squash in the future). Those are fairly easy and you can't really fail. Most of us grow them or something similar.
Please write and let me know what kinds of seeds you are planting. If need be I will ask seed saving friends or research it and give some hints if you are saving something else as well.
Linking up today with Teacher of Good Things and her friends at For This Season, Vicki Arnold Blog and Walking in High Cotton. Please visit each of these blogs and tell them Garden Tenders sent you!
Next, I'll discuss garden styles.