Organic, local, cheap.... which type of food is best? How about all three?
The picture above is a sweet pepper blossom from my garden. It was grown organically, from seed, about 20 feet from my back door. Organic, local, and cheap. It's even better though. Not only does it provide everything I want in my food, it also gives me exercise, and time outdoors with my kids.
My kids love our garden. We play in it and around it. They help take care of the "baby" plants, and learn about them in the process. My DD has been particularly fond of it. She has her own planting box that she takes care of that is filled with non toxic flowers, but the edibles are her favorite. She received the tomatoes in the above picture as a treat for good behavior - a treat she requested.
In the future we would like to grow most, if not all of our produce ourselves, but this year our garden is rather small, housing only our favorite vegetables and herbs, as well as a few bug repellent plants.
Organic gardening has been a learning process. I can't just pour some chemicals on the plants to make them grow faster/bigger, and I also can't kill off the bugs and weeds with chemicals either. Growing in Florida has been a blessing and a curse. We have a much longer warm season than most areas so I can wait for plants to mature and fudge a bit on the planting dates. Our heat also kills off some plant varieties though (hardy here means an ability to survive the heat rather than the cold), encourages weed growth, and gives us more prolific bugs than most other places. Most gardening books are geared toward more temperate areas than ours, so finding information can be difficult as well.
Here is a few things I have learned from gardening in Florida thus far;
There is more. There is much more to know about organic gardening in Florida. I, however, am a novice, and I am learning as I go. I do plan to keep notes on the progress of the garden though, and I will be posting those notes regularly.
I came across this article the other day while researching organic gardening, and thought others might find it interesting as well.
Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Block Cuba got most of it's fertilizer and other agricultural chemicals from the Soviets. After the collapse their chemical supply was cut off. The city of Havana had been producing food through hydroponics. The hydroponic facilities were almost immediately converted to container gardens. Now small scale container gardens are all over urban Cuba, even in highway medians. These gardens now produce about a million tons of food a year. All of these gardens are sanctioned by the government, and use organic gardening practices (the only type of gardening allowed in Havana proper).
This practice in Cuba reminds me of Gorilla Gardening, but instead of being illicit, it is legal and encouraged. Just imagine what Gorilla Gardeners would be capable of producing if they were encouraged to produce.
Crafting a Life.
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