Only people can farm and their lives depend on it — and so do ours! Growing healthy food and securing clean water are everyone’s top priorities — or they should be.
The weather is great at the moment, and as we head into summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s time to think about the bounty of fresh food — and about the diligent farmers who produce it for us.
I whole-heartedly support family farms, and I think we all should try to help them survive. They have been the back-bone of society, and their care and love of their land will never be replaced by corporate “efficiency” and heartless ruination of the land, by factory farms.
So, how do you support local agriculture? How do you support the young people who care and want the hard-but-worthy life of the farmer? We need to appreciate and laud them, as without them, we’ll have no future, and we need to provide a sound plan:
___ for land to be affordable
__ for their land to be passed from one family generation to another without the inheritance taxes which force families to sell their land, if they agree to stay on the land and continue farming it or arrange for it to be farmed by non-corporate entities
___ provide needed financing so farmers can grow useful, needed crops (not just the crops big-business or government “wants” them to grow)
___ provide a dependable living wage for farmers, so they do not have to worry about the weather, chance and artificially-depressed markets taking away their families’ livlihood and security.
Support local food growers. Tell your supermarket’s buyers you want 70% to be local produce, minimum. Go to the Farmer’s markets or farms and buy direct (see link below). Take the time to learn and understand their concerns and their plight.
Get your Federal legislators to REFORM the Farm Bill, and at the same time, adovcate for organic gardening practices, period! The Farm Bill is coming up for a vote, and it is probably one of the most far-reaching in implications for you and your family and the planet’s health!
Please read the New York Times article about the Farm Bill and even register at the site to read it, once it’s archived — the article is important. You’ll learn why farmers grow what they grow and why the healthy food costs SO much more. You need to get involved to change a very poor system which is “stacked” against both the farmer and the consumer.
If you live outside America, then advocate for your farmers and for organic practices, too! And, everyone needs to help 3rd World countries be able to feed their people from their own soil, as much as possible, repairing it if needed.
We have to outlaw Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) plants and animals. We have to get rid of harmful “fertilizers”, “insecticides”, “ammendments” to our soil. In America, we have succeeded in nearly sterilizing it of homeostatic soil bacteria (HSO’s) needed for our health and plants health, as well as poor practices which are depleting our soil of its life-giving minerals — while replacing a handful as “fertilizer”. It’s a sad day as our Earth Mother is dying from our lack of caring.
We are the earth’s stewards. Everyone has a role to play. Those who work the land need to keep our Trust that they will care for the Land. We need to keep their Trust that we will pay fair prices for their labor and goods. Little or none of this has been happening for decades in America.
We need to get the middle-men out of the food chain as much as we can. Eating locally helps that happen, and is healthier too. We need to talk to local farmers and ask them to plant the healthiest crops their climate allows. Use the link below to find your state’s local farmer’s markets, and if outside the USA, then check for a similar resource. I saw sites for British markets; hopefully there are others.
It’s really important to only eat foods in their season as much as possible. If you want to preserve food, then freezing is the next best to “fresh”; it has little nutrient degradation if it is processed right after picking.
Dehydration is an acceptable method for some foods, if it is at low temperatures (approximately 118 degrees F) — long and slow and low. Learn how to determine when it is “dry enough”, as you cannot have safe food if there is too much moisture left.
In my opinion, canning (commercial or at home) is not a choice. I believe too much nutrition is lost, but if you decide to can foods at home, learn properly from your county’s Extension Service professionals or through your state university.
Vacuum packing at home has become an option, but, again, learn the technique thoroughly and all of these techniques for food preservation require fastidious attention to cleanliness! These may be great options at time of civil emergencies, but you must know all about their preparation and how to use them safely.
Start to foster new knowledge in your family and become a gardener — in the soil if you have land, or by container, if you don’t. Also learn about CSA agriculture programs and Urban Farming plots programs. And, advocate for your school to teach your children to use school land to garden, especially in elementary school, but these life-lessons are needed and appropriate at any age.
As far as knowing the state of your soil and when to harvest, get a Brix meter and a laboratory soil test of the area in which you want to grow food (ask your gardening center or County Extension agent for recommended labs). The Brix meter will tell you SO much about what your soil needs and exactly when to harvest at the peak of nutrition and flavor. If you were to take your Brix meter to sample supermarket food, you would be SO surprised at the immature and low-nutrient produce we are often buying, especially from factory-farms.
Well, I hope this gets you reading, thinking, acting. Health is intimately connected to food and water, and we have to advocate for the Best. Only the currently most-expensive food is healthy. What’s wrong with that picture? If all of us are concerned with Health – ours and everyone’s – then we have to change the whole system. There are many ways to do this — so enjoy learning and then work hard on the issues, as your Health depends on the best outcomes from your advocacy.
Always — Em
(c)2007 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
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