Time to plant the veggie garden, and with this year's garden I take political action!
You may have been on the listening end of one of my anti-GMO (genetically modified organisms) rants. There is reason to be concerned about our health and the health of future generations due to the deteriorating quality of our food. In addition to being part of the Agri-business GMO experiment, we are being fed additives, colorants, artificial flavors, preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, and lots of residual pesticides. The nutritional value: the vitamins, roughage, and protein, is being removed from our grains, and chemical vitamin subs are being added back in. Mom Nature makes an excellent product to begin with and we alter it until it is no longer a health-giving food.... No longer nutrition our bodies can use... No longer full of flavor. The foods our bodies have evolved to eat are being altered. Where does this leave us? We, as a species are fatter, sicker, and less in control of our food supply. We are vulnerable.
The Big Food/Big Agriculture corporations have a wealth-besotted disregard for the damage they are doing. And, they are controlling the very governmental agencies that are sworn to protect the public. What is a consumer to do? I recently realized that I have some power here. You do too.
We have the power to grow our own: to grow veggies and fruits for our own table, and to share with our families, friends and neighbors. We have the power to buy from farmers' markets, from CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) like "Fair Shares" www.fairshares.org, to preserve our excess, to buy organic when we buy. We have the power to avoid the risky center aisles of the grocery store and the equally risky fast food chains.
We have the power to cook our own: to get out the crock-pot, the pressure cooker, the bread maker, the pots and pans! We can start our beans the night before. We can teach ourselves, and our children how to prepare nutritious and delicious foods. We have the power to research on-line: to learn which products, which companies we trust, and which companies have misled us. The information age is our ally! And, we have the power of the purse! As soon as Big Ag sees a shrinking segment of the population buying their tainted products, they will start paying attention to us, to what we consumers want!
As for me, I'm investing in heirloom organic seeds. I've bought my seeds from the Seed Saver's Exchange in Decorah, Iowa: http://www.seedsavers.org. There are plenty of places to shop for non-GMO seeds, both locally and from catalogs. I hope to have a bumper crop of something to enjoy, to share, and then to save some seeds for next year. Unlike GMO seeds, the seeds I buy can be saved and replanted...no patents on these! I am excited to be planting "Sun & Moon Watermelons" and some heirloom radishes, tomatoes, and lettuces. I hope to order some thorn-less blackberry plants and a fig tree (to be brought indoors in the winter). Let me know what you are planting. Hopefully we'll all have lots to share! And, Big Ag loses out on our business! Yea!
I do have one concern though: squirrels. Anyone who can keep them from EATING ALL MY APPLES this year will get plenty of apples for their own use!
Happy Spring Planting!