Well, not really a farmer....more of an avid gardener.
Being a liberty-loving, Constitution-thumping individual, I recently had a lightbulb moment and came to the conclusion that, although all of our natural rights are important, they all seem to go back to our basic human needs. It occurred to me that regardless of the amount of money one has, the only way to be truly free is for one to take control of his/her own basic needs. As long as one relies on others to provide their basic human needs, freedom does not exist.
The more agricultural regulation that's passed, the more important this issue has become to me. I no longer want to be dependent on corporate famers to grow nutrient-depleted and pesticide-saturated food which is artifically ripened when it gets to the grocery store. Nor do I want to rely on the grocery store, and all the middle-men in between. I want big, juicy tomatoes like my grandparents used to eat, potatoes that haven't been robbed of 100% of their vitamin A, purple carrots, bell peppers that don't cost $1.50 a piece, red celery (yes, there is such a thing!) and banana melons. I had never heard of such a thing until shopping for seeds.
So that was my lightbulb moment, which led me to read more than I really wanted to know about genetically modified foods, (I had done this research before, but not to this extent) food additives, etc. During this research, I learned that we've lost about 95% of the fruit and vegetable varieties that were available 100 years ago, due to modern farming and commercial practices. Whereas only 20 to 30 varieties are generally available at the average grocery store, there are thousands of choices still available to the vegetable gardener.....and a hundred years ago, there was so much more.
(if you're reading this, you must be bored!)
This research left me with no other option than to start growing my own food, as my large town/small city has only two organic choices when it comes to fresh fruits and veggies: potatoes and carrots. (Should have left out the "fresh fruits" part of that last sentence.) Not to mention the fact, I can't really afford organic produce, even if it was readily available.
So, I ordered some heirloom seeds from a couple of seed companies, and went a little over-board in the process. Each seed selection gave an approximate seed count, which I tallied up *after* placing my order. It seems I'm going to end up with about 10,000 to 12,000 total seeds.
Now, my back yard *is* a little larger than most, but it's still just a back yard on a city block. The houses in my neighborhood were built during a time when most people raised their own fruits and veggies, which accounts for the larger-than-modern back yard....but I honestly don't think I could use up all these seeds in a half-dozen growing seasons. And besides, I'm going to be seed-saving from my own bounty.
So I can either save the seeds hoping they'll germinate later, as many will keep for several years, but some do not.
Or, as Johnny Appleseed trekked across America planting apples where ever they would grow, I suppose I could trek across my town doing the same. I haven't yet decided whether to go by "Vicki Banana-Melon-Seed," "Vicki Bloody Butcher Corn Seed," "Vicki White Patty-Pan Squash Seed" or "Vicki Sunflower Seed."
i'm certain that the food we eat, even the *healthy* stuff, lacks 99% of the nutrients nature intended! i applaud you vicki! it's admirable that you're making the effort to be more self sufficient & consume a healthier diet.
while i never want to discourage anyone from trying to eat better...i think that even the soil is different than it used to be, how could it not be? chemicals pervade everything: the air, water, & thus the soil as well. the rise in cancer escalated with the evolution of chemicals. we're killing ourselves. i'd like to be optimistic & think we can reverse the damage, but i think we have passed the point of no return. we're just buying some extra time.
well wasn't that the happy go lucky post?! :haha: that said, i do try to give my body every advantage. as you said vicki, organic foods are more costly which is understandable but unfortunate. if more people bought it & organic farming was rewarded, the price would come down. but it's a catch 22 because people cannot afford to buy it to MAKE the price go down.
interesting post...lots of (organic! :P ) food for thought.
Although I disagree that even organic foods have lost 99% of their nutrition, I DO agree that they've definitely lost a substantial amount due to insecticide use and general depletion. (I also tend to think that you didn't literally mean "99%", but were using that percentage to make your point.) :) But, home-raised food is definitely the way to go, I've decided. (Let's hope I'm still saying that when it's time to WORK.) :blink:
I was looking at some USDA food charts the other day, that compared market (grocery store) fruits and vegetables of 1950 with those of 1999. The decrease in nutrients were across the board. I don't think ANY of them even maintained their nutrients. It's kind of scary!
Yes I was exaggerating for emphasis, but I do think the nutritional value of foods is declining every decade. No wonder there are so many more cases of cancer & a rise of dis-ease in general. Reading the ingredient list of processed foods is scary! It reads more like a chemistry journal than a food package. If you cannot pronounce it, you certainly shouldn't be eating it! :haha: Good luck with the garden/farm! I still remember how delicious our homegrown tomatoes were when I was a kid! No other tomatoes have come close to those....
I stumbled across this post tonight and found fellow organic food enthusiasts. Yay! I support organic food too, but I don't have a yard to grow them myself. If I can't find organic foods in local farmer's market or grocery stores, I would at least go for the ones without chemical pesticides (but may have fertilizer).