Garden Your Way to Health

ZolaStarred Page By Zola, 9th Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2h9cdnbk/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Vegetables

Sick of GM food scare, "dead" pre-packed food from the supermarket, low energy? With a little bit of effort and planning you could be eating healthy, fresh and tasty food.

Food can heal and renew

There is a growing awareness of the importance of healthy living and use of enironmentally friendly products. People are now better informed and are beginning to open their eyes to the fact that by alienating ourselves from nature, we only created problems for ourselves. That is why so many people are now turning to nature for healing and rejuvenation.

Since for many city dwellers gardens ar the only nature they'll ever know, it's not surprising that more and more people are turning to gardening in order to reconnect with nature. Many are even considering growing their own vegetables, herbs or fruit.

This is partly because of the increased awareness of the dangers to health from the overuse of pesticides in mass food production, but also because of growing concern for the environment and its destruction through pollution. Media has played a very important role in educating the public of the dangers of GM food and people are beginning to take these warnings seriously.

Grow your own veggies

There are many benefits to having your own vegetable garden.

Freshly picked vegetables are more nutritious than those which have been stored even for just a few days, let alone for months, and you will be certain they are free of any chemicals. Food grown a home is better for you and better for the planet.

Another advantage is that you need pick only as much as you require, rather than buy in bunches, kilograms or boxes.

For many, spiralling costs of living are incentive enough to start a vegetable garden.

But, what about city dwellers? What can they do?

I once worked on a Feed the Nation project, whose aim was to encourage the homeless to use abandoned city space to grow food. The project leader assured us that just by having one square meter of soil would garantee fresh vegetables for the whole family throughout the growing season. Having a small garden, I tried that, but it didn't work.

The only thing I managed to grow in large quantities on one square meter were the herbs, which eventually spread all over the garden and continued to grow as weed, long after I stopped looking after them, but tasting just as great.

However, I did manage to grow some beautiful big tomatoes, potatoes and tons of Swiss chard in big containers. So, if you have green fingers but only a small garden, or even only a balcony, there is no reason why you shouldn't start gardening. With careful planning and the right choice of plants you need only a very small area to produce a steady supply of vegetables. But, the smaller the garden, the more advance planning is needed.

Natural protection

In the past, farmers relied on natural growing methods to produce healthy plants and fight pests. They knew about companion planting. That knowledge was unfortunately lost, and farmers now prefer using chemical products because these are easy to apply and have quick results. However, planting as many marigolds, nasturtium, calendula and parsley as you can, will definitely help deter insects. Alternatively, although this would be more difficult to achieve, try increasing the number of insect-eating birds in your neighbourhood.

One should also remember that crop rotation is very important for a successful vegetable garden. However, in a small garden, where a range of different vegetables are grown in fairly quick succession, it is difficult to follow the traditional methods of crop rotation. What can we do then to help ensure the fertility of our soil and prevent accumulation of harmful pathogens?

- Avoid growing the same vegetables, or closely related types, in the same place for two consecutive years.
- Avoid continually growing plants with large root systems in the same place.
- After a crop of leaf vegetables, plant legumes to increase the nitrogen content of the soil.

Or, if growing food sounds like too much work, do the flowers, roses, decorative trees. Anything to get you out of the armchair and into the garden.

To me, the best thing about having my own vegetable garden is not only a regular supply of fresh and healthy food. It's being in direct contact with nature. It's healing, inspiring, energizing.

So, no more excuses, get down on your knees and get your hands dirty!

Tags

Environment, Environmentally Friendly, Garden, Green Fingers, Healthy Living, Nature, Vegetable Garden, Vegetables

Meet the author

author avatar Zola
Nature-lover, free-lance consultant, environmental activist.
I have many interests, which include travel, health, Eastern philosophies, astrology.

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
9th Aug 2013 (#)

Growing our own food is a good solution for the future. We should all try to grow something and for sure do so without the use of nasty chemicals.

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author avatar Lauraelrod
10th Aug 2013 (#)

I have a garden myself and I love eating fresh organic vegetables this is a great post

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author avatar Zola
11th Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks Laura. Gardening makes me feel more alive.

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