Sunday, March 27, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

Growing Your Own Food

When taking full responsibility for your own health one of the most immediate consequences is a better understanding of the importance of food for overall wellbeing. The food we eat is the most powerful tool we have to protect and maintain our health. Realizing this is a huge step towards improved health, but it also highlights some new problems.

While a lot can be gained by replacing some of the most offensive processed foods with more natural choices you still can't be sure exactly what you get with your food. Modern agriculture use a combination of pesticides, genetic modification, unnatural feeding practices and who knows what else to keep their profits high. How this impacts the quality of food is disputed, but it does guarantee that you can never know for sure what you are actually eating.

One great option for reducing the toxins in your food is to buy organic produce and naturally raised meat. Unfortunately, what passes as organic produce in your grocery can be questionable and always expensive. One way around this is to join a CSA farm and support your local farmers. This is usually a great way of getting clean and seasonal food at great prices. Most offer eggs in addition to produce, and some even offer grass fed meats.

Supporting locally grown food is great, but I have decided to go one step further and produce the majority of the vegetables I eat myself in my back yard. Growing your own food has a number of great advantages, not least being full control of what goes on and into your food. Other advantages include unbeatable prices, extremely fresh food and a non-existent  environmental impact.

Almost anyone has enough room to grow a substantial amount of vegetables in their own yard. A popular way to maximize your veggie growing space is square foot gardening. The idea of square foot gardening is to build small but extremely efficient gardens. This method lets anyone start a vegetable garden in a 4' x 4' space for less than $100 in start up costs.

My vegetable garden is a more traditional setup. We have a side yard that was not being used that turned out to be the perfect spot for a vegetable garden. For a total investment of $18 I bought two drip hoses to make irrigation supremely easy. With the hoses in p0lace all I needed to do was prepare the soil and plant seeds. I bought a few packs of seeds from the home improvement store, but most of my seeds I collected from vegetables I bought at the store. Collecting seeds from certain vegetables is extremely easy, especially various peppers are a gold mine for home gardeners. Onions and garlic are also extremely easy to grow on your own.

In addition to being a great way to get clean and inexpensive food, a vegetable garden provides many other advantages. It is a great way to get exercise as it requires a lot of upkeep. Kids will love helping out and seeing various plants grow and bear fruit. The garden will also produce plenty of organic material that can be composed and used to enrich the soil in your garden. An finally, the greatest advantage to me is knowing that I am providing my own food without relying on anybody else, that the success or failure of the garden is my own personal responsibility and that I am giving my body the best possible fuel for staying healthy and strong.

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