Selasa, 30 Oktober 2007

Learn how to grow some or most of your own food

There is no act more gratifying, more basic, more liberating, than to coax food from the Earth. Time and the rhythms of nature become the ultimate template by which to live. Do it just to know that you can do it, or do it just to live or do it to save money or for whatever reason.

You want to talk about an essentially useful skill-set?

This is not as complicated as you might think. If you have access to a deck, a roof, a patch of ground no larger than a flower bed or far more space, you can, with just a few of the resources listed on this page learn to feed yourself and others. Any reasonably intelligent person can learn as much about soil and gardening as the most experienced farmer knew a hundred years ago--putting it into practice takes time however, today is the day to begin a garden.

Visualize going out and picking dozens of different kinds of vegetables that grow with no maintenance and re-seed themselves year after year just like native plants in an uncultivated meadow. Or visualize a small plot of intensely rich soil that feeds your family with less than an hour of labor per day-far less time and energy than many Americans waste on maintaining cosmetic lawns. Imagine hundreds of pounds of different fruits coming from trees in your backyard. It can be done but you will need to learn some of the basics. That is what this page is about.

We're not out to sell you anything. The information is to help everyone from the novice to the experienced gardener.

Here's how this page is laid out: Click the link to go directly to that section.

Basics of gardening and soil formation.

Why Grow and eat Organic food?

Examples of bad chemicals in non-Organic food.

Permaculture, and advanced methods of sustainability and food production

The shrinking supply of cheap oil will lead to expensive food.

More resources on food production-forums etc.

Some basic highly effective gardening techniques:

Biointensive Gardening The essence of creating conditions that produce large quantities of high quality healthy food in a small space.

For a more detailed look see

http://www.growbiointensive.org/biointensive/Gardening.html

About Biointensive and its founder; illustrated newspaper story.

University of Calfornia Vegetable Gardening information pages:

A simple effective thing that you can do today: Begin a compost heap. Find an out of the way place in your garden and make a pile of leaves and grass. Save your coffee grounds and filters, fruit peels, tea bags,fruit cores in a milk carton and mix them with the leaves. Throw a handful of dirt on top of the pile. Nature will do the rest.

About soil

A highly valuable site for beginners

How to make soil using biointensive methods

Learn about and Understand the Soil

Technical; the biology and science of soil

Incredible website with in depth information about soil building Cyber Help for Organic Farmers-Your Soil


Composting

General info:

Make soil of the best quality from table scraps and garden waste.

You can buy an expensive ceramic compost holder for your kitchen or you can make one for free like this:

Composting In depth

[pages 3-3 through 3-13] click "next page" to move to next page

Biointensive Mini-Farming

"One mini-farmer working 40-45 hours per week [can} produce enough food for 24 people on about 3/4 of an acre."

Think about these numbers: How much pre-tax money do 24 people have to earn to buy food for a week? How many hours would 24 people have to work to earn that money, how many commute hours?

City farmer site Beautiful Canadian Government Site about the philosophy, rewards, successes and social mechanics of home/neighborhood farming and food independence.

Why you should grow your food organically:

The big picture worldwide and the small part that you can play in your garden.

This is a long and detailed article that presupposes some knowledge.

Short version:http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/organic_gardening/27763

Good content in spite of the cuteness

More detailed version:

http://www.purefood.org/ge/klebsiella.cfm

Start about half way down the page at the paragraph that reads: "They have to be tested in something that approximates a real world..."

Here's how much food an "average" American family eats in a year. A little bit of "legal" and "permissable" pesticide in every mouthful adds up to a lot. So what's wrong with a little pesticide residue anyway? Cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and more...from pesticides? If you don't already know about this, the links below are a start in your education about pesticides.

There is far more than just pesticide information below this point. You're only a quarter of the way into the page.


It's in your self interest to learn about these chemicals

So just what's in the non-organic food that you're eating?

This link shows you through a customized list of your family's diet what is there and its effects on you. If you don't care about yourself at least check out the bad things that you are feeding to your kids. (slow link-worth the wait)

Dioxin Named a Known Carcinogen Dioxin - already blamed for a host of ills ranging from immune system suppression and infertility to learning disabilities - has now been officially linked to cancer. It has been found as a contaminant in some herbicides and pesticides.


Combination of Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's Disease

Outstanding series of articles from the Ecologist Magazine in Britain

The best explanation of what's wrong with industrial Factory Food that we've seen.

links below either ecologist or alternet

Fatal Harvest Myth 1: Industrial Agriculture will feed the world.

Fatal Harvest Myth 2: Industrial Food is Cheap

Fatal Harvest Myth 3: Industrial Food is Safe, Healthy and Nutritious

Fatal Harvest Myth 4: Industrial Food offers more choices

Fatal Harvest Myth 5: Industrial food offers more choices.

Myth 6: BIOTECHNOLOGY WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE

Myth number 7: INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE BENEFITS THE World

Here's an example of how dangerous chemicals are ubiquitous in conventional food:

From the magnificient online book fruits of warm climates by Julia Morton:

"Tangerines generally do not have good keeping quality.... To prolong storage life, pads impregnated with the fungistat, diphenyl, have been placed in shipping cartons. The chemical is partly absorbed by the fruit and Federal regulations allow a residue of only 110 ppm. Storage trials have shown that washed and waxed 'Dancy' and 'Sunburst', with 2 pads per carton, absorbed more than 110 ppm in 2 weeks at 70º F (21º C)...Storage of unwashed 'Dancy' fruits for 2 weeks at 39.2º F (3º C) with 1 pad per carton showed diphenyl absorption below the legal limit. Unwashed 'Sunburst' fruits with 2 pads can be stored 4 weeks without absorbing excessive diphenyl. Early-harvested tangerines are less susceptible to decay but apt to absorb an excess of diphenyl."

So, want another (non-organic) tangerine?

But aren't government regulators protecting us from unsafe levels of chemicals in foods produced by big companies?

Read this for an introduction to the concept of the "revolving door" between

government service and employment contracts.

http://www.monitor.net/monitor/9904b/monsantofda.html

What's your body burden of toxic chemicals? Here's a catalog of whats in your blood:


Here's a picture of the ultimate in factory food. Nice and inexpensive. You're not going to eat this stuff are you?


How you can protect yourself, your communities, our nation and the environment by eating organic food.

Advantages of Organic agriculture to communities and consumers of food.

Measuring food by the mile- Yet another advantage of organic food.

Don't panic, go organic

A huge and varied site about the mechanics of growing different vegetables and fruits.

Crop information and fabulous links to a constellation of resources.

Stop!

Just because it's labeled "Organic" doesn't mean you should accept it. You need to support the small local growers and processors that invented the organic food industry and who do good things with the money you spend. Here's an example of the bad guys that have muscled into the organic food market...

"...Cascadian Farms and Muir Glen are owned by Small Planet Foods which is owned by GENERAL MILLS, whose principal investors are PHILIP MORRIS, EXXONMOBIL, GENERAL ELECTRIC, CHEVRON, NIKE, McDONALD'S, TARGET STORES, STARBUCK'S, MONSANTO, DUPONT (weapons & pesticides), DOW CHEMICAL (Agent Orange, breast implants, napalm), PEPSICO, ALCOA ALUMINUM, DISNEY (exploit Third World labor), TEXAS INSTRUMENTS (weapons: one of GW Bush's top contributors), PFIZER. General Mills is also being boycotted for animal rights abuse...".

from What We Need to Know About the Corporate Takeover of the "Organic" Food Market

Here is a link that takes you to a chart of who owns what-you'll be surprised

Going Organic-a complete explanation of how the certification works for growers and venders.

Beyond Organic, the transition to Authentic Organic food: The highest quality and local origins

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