Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Dirty Hands

One of the main side effects of gardening is dirt under your fingernails.  You get a real sense of the earth and nature and life.  The earth is plentiful and alive.  To think by putting a small seed in the dirt and watering it every day, you can produce your own food.  Naturally.  It is amazing.  You've grown food with your own hands.  You've planted it, watered it, weeded around it, pruned it, harvested it, and ate it.  

Gardening not only produces food for our families, it also teaches our children where their food comes from.  That is such an important life lesson for them.  You don't know what is in the food you get at the supermarket.  You don't know what chemicals they've used to produce that Bell Pepper which is the size of a Cantaloupe.  You don't even know where or how it was grown.  What part of the county.  Think about that.  If you are buying produce from California and you live in NY, how healthy can that produce be for you?  Produce traveling cross country is picked before they are ripe and then pumped with Ethylene gas to force it to ripen quickly and get nice a big so it looks appealing to the consumer.  I don't want to eat something that is pumped with all kinds of pesticides and hormones to help it ripen.  Fact:  8 days after a vegetable is harvested, it loses over 50% of it's nutrients.  

Our First Garden
Right now there is an Urban Homesteading Movement that is sweeping our nation.  

 Definition - Urban Homesteading 
Transforming a city or suburban home into a property that produces some
or all of its residents own food and other subsistence needs. Such as gardening,
raising poultry or small livestock, producing simple products minimizing consumer purchases, and seeking ways to increase self-sufficiency reducing the homes
environmental impact
in a city or suburban environment.
Locavores and Farmers Markets are popping up all over the place because people are finally realizing that it is healthier to eat local.  Growing up, I never heard of anyone with food allergies or skin allergies like eczema.  Now a days every school is loaded with kids with food & skin allergies. Why are these types of allergies more prolific now?  I'll tell you why.  The food we are eating is sub par at best.  GMO's, produce pumped with pesticides and herbicides, meats pumped with growth hormones and antibiotics, air that is pumped with every other pollutant.  Neighbors treating their lawns with chemicals, airliners dropping rocket fuel in our waters, towns spraying pesticides, and even the pollutants that can be found in your own home such as in the cleaning products you use.  Our kids are playing on those beautifully manicured green lawns that have been treated with all kinds of chemicals to keep it green and weed free.  But guess what, weeds are green too!

Growing your own food is the best way to live a more sustainable, healthy lifestyle, save money and gain back some control.  After all NJ is the Garden State!  15% of the state is working farm land.  We are 10th in sweet corn production, 8th in tomato's, 4th in bell pepper's, 3rd in cranberries and 2nd in blueberries, just to name a few. So look for the Jersey Fresh Label when you are shopping, be more conscience of your everyday decisions and plant your own garden today. 

Our Plentiful Harvest

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