We encourage you to consider raising some of your own vegetables this year. You cannot eat more local than out of your own back yard or patio.The food you eat is important to your health. When we buy food in the grocery store, even organic food, we do not know the health of the soil was that it was raised in. It is difficult to be healthier than the health of the soil that our food was grown in. Supplements can help, but eating "garbage" and then taking some vitamin and supplement pills is not a good recipe for health.
We have been learning a lot the last six months about raising nutrient dense food. Nutrient dense food is being encouraged by the Weston A. Price Foundation and others. The key is to have the proper amount of trace minerals and biological activity in the soil. You can test the plant, fruit, or vegetable with a refractometer to find the brix (sugar and mineral content) reading. The refractometer can be purchased for $35 – $50 and is very simple to use. We are realizing that what we had in the past considered to be good food, is not as good as it can be. An example of excellent nutrient dense produce is the following excerpt from an email that was on the BrixTalk Yahoo Group recently. Imagine having tomatoes that you could keep all winter without canning them, and they wouldn’t rot! It would save a lot of time preserving them and the nutrient dense food would be much better for us.
"Last year, we decided to use lime, rock phosphate, gypsum and iron sulfate (for pH modification to 6.4) in our tubs in addition to the fertilizers we had been using in the past. We could grow tomatoes where we could get good brix levels and about 50-60 large sized tomatoes per plant in the past. The additional nutrients we added last year on ten tomato plants produced an average brix of 10 for the large sized tomatoes, but the yields per plant went to about 400 tomatoes per plant in three pickings. We found that the tomatoes in the final picking that were green, ripened at room temperature in two to three weeks. We also found that we have been able to store these tomatoes at room temperature for 5 months and the vast majority of them didn’t spoil. They do shrivel up a bit as water comes out of the tomatoes. Most of the stored tomatoes are not shriveled and have remained quite sweet. For quantities of fertilizers, I followed a book written by Dr A.F. Beddoe, one of Dr. Ream’s students.
"A couple of years ago we were able to get Yukon Gold potatoes up as high as 2 lbs. in weight with many at 1.5 lbs. The normal number of tubers per plant is about 7. We were able to get 19 per plant. We averaged about 11 lbs. of Yukon Gold potatoes from two plants in a tub. That year we were harvesting tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, and yellow crook nick squash a little under 30 days after transplanting the plants. Best Regards, Thomas Giannou"
Thomas has further information on his website:
Some other good websites are http://www.highbrixgardens.com/ and http://www.crossroads.ws/brixbook/BBook.htm
The book referenced, written by Dr. A.F. Beddoe, is titled Nourishment Home Grown, the 2004 edition. The 2004 edition is only available from Dr. Beddoe at http://www.advancedideals.org/016_book_ordering.html
OK, here is one more reason to consider planting a garden this year. Yesterday, March 9, 2008 the New York Times ran the article: A Global Need For Grain That Farms Can’t Fill. It tells how the global demand for food is greater than the supply. We have been used to an abundant supply of cheap food in the grocery stores, but it may not always be that way. This is one of several articles we have seen about a global food shortage. Some are predicting that the next big crisis will be a food shortage. No one knows what will happen. We can’t grow our own gasoline, but we can grow our own food. There is a learning curve in learning how to grow vegetables successfully. By raising vegetables now, we can learn how to do it successfully and productively rather than waiting until things get more serious. And if nothing serious develops, we still have that satisfied feeling as we eat the delicious, nutritious produce that we grew ourselves. Here is the link to the NY Times article: