Back To Basics

Indian MarketIndian MarketI’m not a big fan of Gandhi. I’ve been to his home in India and I’ve read his quotes. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in many ways he had good ideas and in many ways he did not. I’ve seen the poverty in India first hand, a country that has not progressed with civilization. But I’ve also seen their gardens. Boy can they grow okra and eggplant! (Make sure you click on the photos) The food in India is wonderfully fresh and full of flavor.

I saw this quote in the Feb-March 2008 issue of “Organic Gardening” and I had to share it.”To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” Gandhi

I believe that every person, whether they have much land or none at all, should know how to grow food. There are many who live in the city with patio gardens. Granted you may not be able to grow enough to be self-sufficient but you can grow enough to feel worthy of the food you eat. I came to realize that if I could build a hoophouse or even small tunnels to grow winter vegetables in, it would save me the time and money that it takes to travel to the health food store. It’s a good 12 miles to the closest health food store (gourmet at that and pricey), so figuring 22 miles to a gallon in my minivan and the cost of gasoline being close to $3.00/gallon, that would make a head of leaf lettuce somewhere up to …….$5.00 or $6.00. Now that’s some pretty expensive lettuce. Not only does self-sufficiency help me but it also helps our environment. I believe we are stewards and caretakers of the earth. I ‘m not an activist. I do my part. We don’t use chemicals in our home. We don’t use them in our garden. We compost whatever can be put back in the earth including paper towels and newspaper. We choose to use glass over plastic. You get the picture.

Maybe I’ve been listening to too much Glenn Beck, but if our economy is doomed to have a crash unlike any seen in 1929, then I’m going to want to be able to grow my own food. It’s not hard. It takes a little time, but there are many ways to make gardening easy. Like the raised beds. No tiller needed. It took a little work getting it ready, but not much to maintain it. I never walk on them, so the soil is never compacted. My neighbor with 5 young children, grows her tomatoes in large patio pots because she doesn’t have the time to maintain a garden. If I can encourage you to do one thing this year, its learn to grow food. At the risk of repeating myself; “To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves.”

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