Lifestyles

Story published: 01-02-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Going organic in 2013: A resolution worth keeping

By Jeanne Cope
H&T Columnist/ Master Gardener

Once in a while we have a wonderful unexpected surprise that creates a landmark in pride for a community.

There is work for us all to do in 2013, and only 365 days to get it done, so we should make this the year to get very serious about survival.

How can we purchase all the food we need and know it is local, healthy, and full of vitamins and minerals for the body to use replacing worn out cells? Do we know that words we can hardly pronounce on food labels might make us sick? The truth is we donít know. Many believe we make ourselves sick with the foods we eat.

We do know that eating raw organic, local food is healthy.

Letís start the fresh New Year with a fresh new vocabulary. Add words such as whole, live food, fresh, earth, certified, green, organic and homegrown into our daily lives.

Purchasing fresh produce at a farmers market is not good enough. We must be certain the foods purchased are from a farmer who starts with natural, untreated organic seed.

Food must be grown in natural materials as compost, with non-chemical bug controls.

I invite you to join me for 365 days in a return to healthy food we grew ourselves from untreated organic seeds and certified organic vegetable plants we purchase.

My only 2013 resolution is to grow much of our own healthy food, and consume most of it raw.

No excuses. Everyone can grow a vegetable ó a tomato plant in a large pot on the deck, surrounded with radishes, onions, garlic, carrots, greens, or whatever. The choices are ours.

One pot may have one or two plants, but all are able to manage a tiny health garden.

Think of four pots for a family of four. Each takes care of their own pot, planting, tending and harvesting. Preparing raw food is easy.

Everyone ó young, old, rich, poor, even persons who may be ill ó can have a pot of vegetables.

Grow your own soup, plant a cabbage, carrots, onions and a tomato. Add a basil plant for great taste. Why not?

If you only need one cabbage plant, neighbors can go together and divide a four or six pack of plants. Iíll trade you a cabbage plant for six onion sets. How about that?

If you have a tiny lawn, then make a 4-foot-by-4-foot raised bed of an old pallet. Use scraps from vegetable preparation for compost and horse manure to grow everything.

In one bed, using 1 square foot per vegetable, it is possible to harvest from 16 different vegetables for the table.

To plant, tend and harvest this tiny food source, a family of four can eat fresh vegetables for nine months if replanting follows each harvest.

The benefit derived from growing and consuming our own food: we know what we are consuming.

Organic seed has no pesticide, herbicide or other chemicals.

My motto for 2013 is growing healthy by knowing what we eat. Live outdoors in the sunshine, and get more exercise.

Shop the perimeter of the super markets, leaving the canned, quick fix boxes and other over-processed food alone.

Happy, healthy gardening in 2013 everyone!

Jeanne Cope is a freelance garden writer and UT Lifetime Master Gardener. Visit her at jeannecope.com or by email at jeanne@jeannecope.com