A trip to the grocery store this weekend renewed my passion to grow as much of my own food as possible. While looking over the loaves of sandwich bread, I was horrified to discover the healthiest, whole grain loaves were all priced over $4. This is a price I might pay for an artisan loaf from my local baker, but for mass produced bread? No way! Unfortunately, I don’t have space to grow enough grain to produce for bread. I feel as though I should start baking my own, or better yet, I am wondering if I could set up a barter for my organic produce to be exchanged for healthy, local made, whole grain bread?
The produce aisles were not much better. Food I know has been shipped thousands of miles, grown with all kinds of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides–irradiated, and potentially a Genetically Modified Organism–all at premium prices. How can I feel good about giving that to my family?
A potential garden client wanted to see my community garden plots. Her inspiration for growing is to improve the health of her family and she wondered, “just how much food can you grow in a small garden?”. Sometimes, looking at something through new eyes really brings an issue into focus. I knew we had been eating daily harvests of snow peas, strawberries, and tomatoes . I have onions curing and have just started curing my first garlic of the season. She was astounded at how I had it all packed into such little space. Garlic surrounding the outside of plots, onions inter-planted with strawberries, root vegetable growing in the same space as lettuce, trellises on the outside of the plots to grow vertical, trellises amongst the potato and strawberry patches, new sprouts of summer melon emerged where I had just pulled onions a week ago.
My gardens look like a jungle, but it is by design. After all, that is how nature grows her forests, jungles and prairies. No fields of just one species can be found in nature–everything has it’s role in the ecosystem–to provide food or habitat for something else. In these garden ecosystems of mine, I am trying to provide the most healthful and highest productivity of food I can manage–our health, budget, and good eating reap the rewards. This weekend’s trip to the grocery store made me wonder if the time is here for most people to depend on their own ability to grow their own food to maintain their standard of living? For health–I’m sure the answer is a resounding YES! If people want to afford anything but the most processed Frankenfoods, I recommend they quickly join the Grow Your Own Revolution. I’m here to help you grow organic, affordable, and successful food. Just ask us at Texas Worm Ranch, firstname.lastname@example.org