Homegrown: sustainability starts at home.

Putting the “O” back in optimal growth
February 11, 2018

This evocative term, ‘homegrown’ can mean many things, from the single tomato plant in a pot on a high-rise balcony, to the organic market, to the family farm, to quirky people’s philosophies of life, to the real movers and shakers who take the bull by the horns and become homesteaders, lacking for nothing routinely bought in a shop.

Every little bit of home-grown produce is a step towards healthier eating and better living, and to achieve any of this one needs to start by learning that it is not hard work!
Growing one’s own is not a competition, nor is it a race. It is a life-style choice which is each individual’s to make.

Resolve to learn about ‘no dig’ gardening!

There exists an intricate network of microscopic tunnels which facilitate the movement of nutrients, water and air, in undisturbed soil.
These microscopic tunnels form the basis of root penetration by plants, and earth worms can also thrive in it.
All redundant vegetable matter is left in situ, to feed and aerate the soil, roots are not dug up, new plants are just planted in between.
Composted matter is added on top of the beds where vegetables are to be planted.
The conscientious gardener will continue to add to the soil in this manner, with the result that the soil continues to improve, the water-holding capacity of the soil is increased, yields continue to be healthier and more substantial, and harvesting periods continue to be extended beyond normal expectations.

Should each and every one of us plant a few pots, or a vegetable garden bed the size of a door, and should we all influence family, friends and neighbours by doing this successfully, we can slowly change people’s perceptions.

Lets learn and teach how to properly utilise the food we grow so that we may eat more healthily.
The improvements we shall surely experience in vitality and health, may not stop the fast-food chains in their tracks. It may not put an end to factory farming, or stop the culture of “value-added” food, new-speak for devalued, denatured food.

We are each part of the collective that adds our voice to the lack of necessity for mining for fertilisers, the tilling of the land, the manufacture of poisons that kill good insects with the bad, not to mention birds and bees.

These practices that are unsustainable and damaging to the environment, are the inheritance we are leaving our children – a damaged planet.

It is up to us to live by example and maybe, just maybe, the tide will turn…

Do the research, look up whole food, natural food, pastured meat and no dig vegetable growing.
YouTube videos are a great resource.
Take time off, sit back, prepare to have your mind blown.
Don’t buy a pick or a fork, you won’t need them.
Buy a wheelbarrow, rake and spade for lifting and spreading compost.
Vow to never ever put a spade or fork or pick to the soil, make this a fun project with far-reaching consequences.

Article by Adri Henn, Barbertonian, wanna-be homesteader and supplier of organic produce to Barberton, Nelspruit and White River. www.farminabox.co.za

For more information or for a demonstration, contact adri@farminabox.co.za

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