Growing Your Own Vegetables Is a Good Idea

It’s a smart idea to be growing your own vegetables for many reasons

New conventional farming techniques spearheaded by large companies have changed the organic agricultural methods to such a point that  in many cases growing your own vegetables in nice healthy soil had been replaced with large crops of one type of vegetables being forced to grow in a very unhealthy environment — unhealthy for the vegetable and in turn unhealthy for us, the consumer.  LET ME EXPLAIN WHY — WHAT WAS HAPPENING.

1: Growing your own vegetables by using the mixed farming/crop rotation was replaced by growing only one type of vegetable over and over again in the same soil.

For example: Back in the 60’s, potato farmers in Prince Edward Island had been persuaded to do less mixed farming and grow more potatoes to satisfy consumer demand.

I remember it well!

These leaders were going from place to place,  targeting especially the farmers’ coops, and  telling farmers that instead of following the idea of growing your own vegetables,  it would be more profitable to plant huge fields of one crop and use more synthetic fertilizers which they claimed were just as good as compost . . . that in the end the cost of the fertilizer would be offset by selling more produce. I remember how the NB farmers decided to decline the offer and continue with mixed farming.

At the time, PEI farmers who had been using the mixed farming method  of growing your own vegetables were organized into Co-ops, and, in addition to growing enough veggies for their own families, had been producing  different varieties of delicious potatoes which had become renowned as being the best in the world.

2.  Organic Compost was replaced by “special” synthetic fertilizers.

However, when the farmers began abandoning mixed farming and growing your own vegetables in favor of growing huge crops of only one, maybe two, types of vegetable, the soil was slowly being depleted of much needed nutrients.  The soil was not receiving supplemental nutrients since fertilizing with organic compost/good old fashion manure and crop rotation had been eliminated.

To make matters worse, the new synthetic fertilizers did not replenish the soil with all necessary micronutrients and macronutrients neither, so each farmer’s crop,  including the PEI potatoes, became less healthy… not only did they not feel and taste the same anymore but also their “shelf life” was shorter.

3:  By using the  new modern methods of fertilization instead of growing your own vegetables and  using organic soil amendments, farmers need to do  excessive spraying as crops become less healthy

It’s a well-known fact that any vegetable which is less than  healthy gets attacked more frequently by insects or fungus, so to keep their crops from being destroyed, these big farmers had no choice but to spray more often with insecticide and/or pesticides.

Here’s and example of what I saw in the summer of 2003. . . a situation which makes me believe that more food than we think are being laced with insecticide/pesticide…

Let me explain. From early spring until October, I  travelled every day down a country road here in Ontario. At the beginning of the summer I noticed this huge field being planted, and as time passed, I soon recognized that these plants were head lettuce.

One day when the plants were almost mature, I saw, to my horror, that a tractor pulling spraying equipment was going from row to row as it sprayed a horrible smelling liquid I recognized as being the smell of insecticide.

Before that crop was completely pulled out, I had witnessed those plants being sprayed at least one more time. (I couldn’t help but wonder where in the lettuce that spray had ended up!. . .)

Then later on during the summer, when half the field had no more of this first crop of lettuce, I noticed workers were replanting another crop on that same stretch of land. Now maybe they added compost to the field before replanting, but I saw no signs that anything of that nature had been done.

Before the summer was over, this second crop of head lettuce had been treated with the same spraying routine.

Imagine! How can soil support two crops of the same type of vegetable in one summer without being replenished?

Because of the spraying,  how could any living organism and/or precious worms which are so necessary to keeping the  soil healthy  survive?

Those people growing your own vegetables used method which kept the vegetables healthy and filled with nutrients. Obviously these new methods could not yield the same quality of healthy  vegetables.

Reason 4: Farmers are forced to use chemical fertilizers instead of the organic fertilizer

Another example:  In the spring of 2004, one day around 9:30 a.m., my brother and I happened to be driving along a country roads past a farm where the farmer was spreading chemical-based fertilizer.

Being a beautiful spring day, we had our car windows down. All of a sudden a strong gust of wind came breezing our way and brought with it a stark sharp smell which made us both choke and gasp. The smell of that fertilizer was 10 times worst than fresh manure which in all my years of experience has never made me choke up (gag maybe, but not choke)!

As we quickly closed the windows, I asked my brother, “Why on earth do farmers use such junk?”

He answered: “One of the farmers told me that composted cattle manure was hard to ‘come by’ because cattle farmers hang onto it. The vegetable farmers who do not own cattle have no choice but to buy this fertilizer!” He went on to explain that most farmers have very little money so cannot afford to buy compost by the ton, hence must resort to this chemical-based cheaper fertilizer.

Unfortunately,  people, not realizing to what degree the quality of the vegetables had deteriorated, had turned to buying their vegetables instead of growing your own vegetables.

For the longest time,  the consumer did not realize  they were part of a vicious circle. . . . 1) vegetables lacking more and more in nutrients and 2) insecticide/pesticide on our food and spreading in our water table. No wonder cancer and other disease is rampant!

And now for the worst news of all . . .

5. Big companies are trying to force farmers (and the ordinary homeowner who wishes to try growing your own vegetables)  to buy and plant  Genetically Altered Seeds in their fields

After watching “The Future of Our Food” (a rented documentary which I watched in 2009), I can understand the farmer’s predicament. Not only are farmers forced to use synthetic fertilizers but they must now contend with genetically altered seeds.

As I was viewing the video, the part about how big companies are planning to sell seeds which have been genetically altered to self destruct after one year of growth made me feel really sorry for the farmers as well as for us consumers!

How will farmers be able to survive? How will we survive if we are not allowed to choose our seeds when growing your own vegetables ? How can seeds be saved for the following year’s crop if they are to self-destruct?  How are these plants growing from genetecially altered seeds going to affect our health?

To read the whole story and view the video explaining why the farmers are so extremely concerned and worried, click  Genetically Modified Foods Vs Organic Foods, which was written when certain groups in the US wanted to outlaw organic farming and even  growing your own vegetables in your own back yard.

Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals: Genetically Engineered Foods (1of3)
is another revealing video dealing with genetically modified foods. This video can be viewed along with two other videos about this subject on Google at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3015279868041217732#

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3015279868041217732#

“Why would cattle and even pigs and wild animals refuse to eat corn grown from genetically modified seeds? Why do some animals glow when they eat certain genetically modified foods?”

6 Here’s one last proof that one should  either buy or grow your own vegetables .

The David Suzuki Foundation released a document, “The Food We Eat” — An International Comparison of Pesticide regulations, October 2006.

The Foundation made the claim that Canada’s pesticide regulations are among the weakest in the industrialized world. Sixty chemicals used in 1,130 pesticide products are banned in other western industrialized nations, they say.

However, in 2007 Canada’s maximum residue limits on food are significantly lower than the US, the European Union, and Australia.

Canada reports a 10 percent residue on fresh fruit and vegetables, as compared to the US which reports 76 percent.”
~ CFA-Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Currents Events, “CFA Environment and Science Activities” (September 2007)
http://www.cfa-fca.ca/pages/index.php?main_id=335

Since that time a very strong organization in the United Kingdom called the Soil Association have become very involved in supporting and promoting organic farming by setting up rules which are strictly enforced.

As I kept viewing these videos and reading about the farmers’ dilemma, other thoughts popped into my head:

“How much insecticide/pesticide residual are we swallowing as we eat our vegetables bought at the grocery store? ….. and who knows what else we are swallowing!”

Wouldn’t it be to our advantage to return to growing your own vegetables?T

At least you could join the fight against being controlled by large companies who want you to use genetically modified seeds, and thus avoid the hazards that go along with genetically modified foods,

After reading all these facts on how farming has changed and how large companies are planning to change farming rules even more,  I’m sure you understand better why  growing your own vegetables   is a good option

To repeat: When you are growing your own vegetables, you are able to make sure that you are planting non-gmo seeds (i.e. organic seeds) in a healthy soil well supplemented with compost or manure so that very little or no spraying with insecticides/pesticides is needed.

If you do need to spray, you can use home made spray or natural insecticides which is less detrimental to the eco system.

When growing your own vegetables, you can keep your veggies healthy by adopting an organic  preventative program since you are the one in control.

Growing Your own Vegetables is a good ideaIt only makes sense to either buy organically grown vegetables or if at all possible, take a patch of land around the house, add lots of home made compost or manure or both, and begin growing your own vegetables . . .delicious, nutritious, and healthier vegetables . . . in your own little garden.

Click on the picture and see how one family is using a corner of an extremely small area beside the house to grow their own vegetables.

Perhaps once you have discovered how farming has changed since the 1960’s, you might be inclined to begin growing your own vegetables . . . or at least start buying organically grown veggies.

Besides being more healthy for the family and the environment,  growing your own vegetables can even be fun!

Marcie

Bio: A gardener since the 70’s, Marcie Snyder knows that there is no comparison to growing your own vegetables and plants organically. Therefore, to help the budding gardener, she has dedicated four blogs to explaining different aspects of organic gardening. In addition, besides the FREE ebook “The Complete Guide to Organic Vegetable Gardening” (OVG GUIDE), Marcie also offers a very comprehensive step-by-step ebook detailing 4 methods of composting. (See side bar)

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    =====================================
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    ===========================================

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