Sunday, April 5, 2009

All Things Green

Pushed by the recession and the high price of quality food and gas to get to the stores, two friends/neighbors and I are planning an organic garden. We are lucky - there is a large green meadow next to us, owned by the same organization from whom we rent our apartments.

We have a friend who has a tiller, and another wonderful woman gave us almost all the seeds we need and want. Hopefully someone in our agricultural surroundings will give us manure for free as well.

I sometimes remember my roots: My dad's family always had a garden (and Dad still does); and my mom's dad was a dairy farmer. In his day the way to keep the fields fertile was to rotate crops and put manure on the fields. Did you know that chemical fertilizer wasn't available until the World War I era? It was a new way to fix nitrogen, and it was developed for bombs. Michael Pollan talks about it in The Omnivore's Dilemma ( a wonderful book to read if your are interested in how we get our food these days).

Fortunately for me, I have an autoimmune disease that gets worse when I eat processed food, sugar and grains. When I realized the medical model would have me taking immune suppressant drugs, I decided to look at my food very carefully. Now I eat LOTS of vegetables, some fruit, some chicken and fish, occasional turkey, eggs, nuts and seeds. I do NOT eat corn syrup - high fructose or otherwise.

Having an organic garden feels like going back to my roots.

I watched a video about urban gardening in Cuba. It was necessity that drove this movement as well, when Russia collapsed and no longer sent food and other supplies to Cuba. So the gardens are all organic - no chemicals were coming into the small island country. They are near the people who consume the food so transport has less impact than in the U.S. What a wonderful thing. I think we could learn from their necessities before food becomes quite so dire an issue here in the States.

1 comment:

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