Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gardening: Baby Steps

Ever since Jon and I watched Food Inc, followed by Farmageddon and other documentaries exposing the North American food production industry, our desire to grow some of our own food greatly intensified. We talked about planting various herbs, vegetables, and berries, buying chickens for fresh eggs and even considered setting up a small trout pond.  

A few days ago, I embarked on the Bean Project... Earlier, I wrote about the 13 Bean Soup Mix by Bob's Red Mill. Well, after having made a mighty delicious chili with it, I decided to run a preschool-level experiment and see if I can get my beans to sprout. I experienced a complete success: all my 24 beans came to life and by day 4 they were ready to be planted.

On day 3 in the soil (I used organic Nature Mix by Premier...) a perky green plant appeared ready for a photo session. Somewhere between struggling to find the right angle and avoiding casting a shadow, I thought of how truly amazing the process of growing food is. It takes time, patience, nutritious soil and lots of love! Over the last several decades, however, we disrespected the natural order of things in pursuit of larger profit margins and managed to de-love our food. We also prioritized simplicity and convenience over nutrition value, which largely contributed to skyrocketing rates of obesity and chronic diseases.

Young bean plant
The next day after planting my bean sprouts, Jon and I visited a local nursery and purchased 3 basil and 2 lavender plants, 2 mature strawberry bushes, 2 kinds of tomato plants and 3 hanging flower pots. I also made a trip around town to find some lettuce and herb seeds (that proved to be a challenge so late in the season) and planted all 13 kinds the same night. Today, just two days later, I noticed tiny stems with delicate leaves, pushing through the loose soil. And again, I was excited about this simple yet majestic process of growing food the way nature intended- with love, respect and great care. 

Sweet Basil
Now that my first tray of seeds is sprouting, I plan on setting up another. Hopefully, over time, we can expand from there: purchase a larger parcel of land, set up a greenhouse and a small garden nearby. Perhaps, we can adopt a couple of chickens and eliminate the expense of buying organic free-run eggs at the local grocery store. Our baby steps today should get us to a more self-sustaining and healthier position tomorrow.

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