Help End the Food Monopoly!

Last spring when we started our vegetable garden, we thought we were doing something really great.  We were going to grow our own food, organically.  We weren’t going to use any pesticides and the soil mix that my husband painstakingly hand mixed was made up of all-natural things. We were so excited!  I bought plants from our local nurseries and organic seeds from the store.  I planted kale, onions, carrots, rainbow chard, collards, mustard, leeks, spinach, and lettuce with excitement, love, and high expectations.

At the same time, my interest in GMOs and Monsanto was budding. As a matter of fact, this was one of the main reasons that we decided to start growing our own food.  We wanted to protect the health of our children and avoid supporting this company at all costs. You can imagine the heartbreak and anger I felt when I discovered that many, if not all, of the plants I had growing more than likely came from Monsanto’s seeds. This is because Monsanto has a nice monopoly going. Here is one article, but feel free to Google it yourself. They apparently own 90% of the seed market in the U.S. (see this list of seed companies owned by Monsanto). So in trying to make what we thought was a healthy choice for our family, we were supporting the very company we were trying to avoid.

Fortunately, I was able to find certified organic non-GMO seeds and am now phasing out all of the other plants and herbs in my garden. So far, I am happy with these seeds (from SeedsNow.com) and will post more photos when everything is up and growing 🙂 !

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Let’s Get Composting!

When you start adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, you are going to have a lot of organic waste in your trash. Is there something better you can do with all of that than simply throwing it away?  There is. Why not start a compost bin?  That is a great way not only to cut back on the amount of trash that you throw away but also to provide a nutritious soil mix for your vegetable and flower gardens!  We started a compost bin several months ago and I can tell you that we have really cut down on our weekly trash. Plus, our nutrient-rich compost will save us a ton of money next year when it’s time to add more soil to our vegetable garden. In addition, we are providing the most organic and nutrient-rich soil we possibly can to our garden. I can imagine how beautiful our produce will be!

We purchased our bin at a local home-improvement store. You can find one at home-improvement and home and garden stores, or you could find one here, along with all of your other composting needs  Here is a picture of our bin:

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Grow Your Own!

The next thing we did was start our own vegetable garden. I had never before experienced the joy and pride in cultivating a garden! Although my local grocery store has a beautiful selection of organic fruits and vegetables and my town has a fantastic weekly farmer’s market, we wanted to try our hands at growing our own. I also wanted to show the kids how rewarding it is to pluck dinner from our own back yard!

I am very fortunate to have a neighbor and friend who is much more skilled and seasoned in the art of gardening. She shared this book with me. I do not have a green thumb, so any help is greatly appreciated!  Square Foot Gardening taught us how to provide the right mix of soil to grow a really nice garden.  I used organic, non-gmo seeds and currently have a variety of lettuces, kale, rainbow chard, carrots, celery, tomatoes, red and purple peppers, collards, lemon cucumbers, and eggplants. I also have an extensive herb garden on my deck which includes basil, oregano, chives, rosemary, mint, cilantro, cumin, thyme, dill, parsley, and wheat grass.

It is so much fun to cook when you can just walk outside and help yourself to natures bounty!

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