Food and Gardening

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If food becomes scarce, as is being talked about, each and everyone of us needs to be prepared. Food storage has been encouraged for many years. But how many of you have adhered to the advice?

Food for storage, can be dehydrated, freeze dried etc. helping it to last many years before being consumed. In the meantime – for the present, before the government controls our ability to grow our own food, I suggest you start now to do just that. If you live in the city – the term used to grow food would be ‘urban farming’, otherwise you might be lucky enough to live in the rural areas, on a farm or a ranch. Since the majority of people live in the cities, I would like to start there with suggestions as to how to do ‘urban farming’. Here are some key factors:

  • Sun – the sun has to be ideal. Generally, you need to know which side of the house works best for the food you plant to grow. Here in Florida, I find that the south and east side of the house is best for me. Which foods do best in the sun, and which do best in the shade/semi-shade. 
  • Soil – you need to know the soil. Every state has different soil. Some are of clay, some rocky, some sandy, some lacking in nutrients, and with luck, some soils are rich in nutrients. You need to research your area to find out what the soil is like in your area  and what kind of soil would be best for you to use for what you are planting. I find that using ‘Potting Mix‘ and not ‘Potting Soil’ that comes in bags at the nursery or stores, is the best to use for growing plants and food in pots around your home – if you live in the city and do not have a large yard. ‘Potting Mix‘ usually already has natural fertilizers in it as well as mulch which helps to hold the water so the plants do not dry out. It also works well when you plant directly into the soil. Dig a huge hole and fill it with the Potting Mix before planting your plants and especially food. 
  • Hydroponic: this is growing plants, food, etc. in a base that may or may not be soil oriented. The water used here and for all types of growing should not be chlorinated water. The chlorine should be filtered out and the pH balanced. I was not aware of this until I did this research. Chlorinated water can cause thyroid issues in humans. Think of how it would affect plants. Yes they grow, but the nutrient value is stifled. The same goes for using water that has been softened. The salt which is used to soften water is not good for plants. The salt build up eventually kills the plant – be it flowers, bushes or seedling food plants. Also, softened water should be used sparingly as a drinking water consumption for humans and animals. The build up there can cause a variety of health issues, especially if you already have health issues or are diabetic. 
  • Tower Gardens – good for city living. Can be put on the roof of condominiums, in shared city garden spaces, or in small yards where space is minimal. If the top of a building is your only alternative, you need to find a way to provide some kind of shade on the rooftop as full sun all day, everyday, is detrimental to most plants. There are many sources for you to research in regards to “Tower Gardens.”
  • Seeds: Know where your seeds or plant sources are coming from Seeds should be organic or non-GMO, and I suggest non-Hybrid.  Plants that you purchase in Garden Spots like in Home Depot and Walmart are not likely to be non-GMO or non-Hybrid. A good old fashioned Nursery may be your best source to buy organic seeds and seedling food plants.  I found that most hybrid food sources, are, like it is said, ‘enhanced to be bigger and better,’ but they do not reproduce well – e.g tomato planGarfield Park | Chicago Community Gardeners Associationts die quickly after the tomatoes are picked. With organic, non-GMO and non-hybrid plants, you can cut the stems back and the plant will grow big again and give you crop after crop…depending on how many times you cut them back and the weather permits. 

This information is just a beginning. Know your sun schedule, know your soil, know your water, know your food source – seeds or seedling plant starts. Now do your homework, and apply it to your situation/lifestyle. Food grown by you, without artificial fertilizers and pesticides, always tastes better, and lasts longer in storage than the food most of us consume that is store bought. We have no idea how long the food we purchase in the grocery store has been enroute to get to the store, how long it has been stored in the warehouse, or how long it has been on the shelf, before we purchase, and consume it. And remember, this food has been sprayed with or had preservatives added to it so it will stay and look fresh when they do finally put it on the the shelf for us to buy. 

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HAPPY PLANTING! and MAY GOD BLESS YOUR EFFORTS AND YOUR FOOD!