Ok, so I make no apologies for this post before I start.. I am about to bore those of you who decide to keep reading with some serious challenges to the food that you are eating, and the poisons you are spraying on your garden. Let me also start by saying that I am no expert (everyone will also tell you that, believe me) and that some of my dearest friends are 'conventional' farmers who raise terrific cows and crops.
It all started with a book.... my kids will all tell you that I am always reading 'A BOOK' which is code for.... OH NO... our life is about to change again ( no gluten, organic bread, sprouted seeds, hand made toilet cleaners.. you get the idea). The truth is, I love research. I love the fact there is so much information out there and so many people with great intelligence who can teach me new things and stretch my mind.
But, back to the topic... It all started with a book, oh well and also with some cows and chooks..
Fascinated by the fact that there bad farmers, good farmers and fabulous farmers who grow bad, good and great grass- I decided to research the difference. I purchase a few books from my favorite online book store and started at the beginning.
Natural Farming- Pat Coleby
If you ever want to grow grass (or anything else for that matter), this is the book. It challenges all the conventional farming practices and offers a natural alternative. Pat goes to great lengths to teach you how to improve your soil by releasing the locked up minerals using lime and dolomite. As Pat writes this book from an Australian perspective and spent many years farming in Gippsland it is especially interesting for someone who lives in this area. Pat goes to great lengths to explain the farming techniques of adding super phosphate and Urea to push on the grass and why not to do this, she teaches about the lack of available minerals in the hay and grass we grow by using this method..
The book also has a terrific chapter on weed killers and how despite the fact that we are led to believe that they only kill the plant, they are in fact killing the soil and life below the surface. It is very interesting reading.
So..... this got me thinking......
What minerals are actually available to us in the fruit and veggies we buy from the supermarket..??
Anyone who has any interest in healthy foods will understand that farmers need to do what they can to provide ' the perfect apple' for our supermarkets..but how many vitamins and minerals are in these foods.. many less than say, 40 years ago. That is certain. Do your research, it is all there on the internet (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-and-nutrition-loss/)- just as a starting place.
Suddenly you start to realize that if we need to keep giving our animals antibiotics and supplementary minerals to keep them healthy cause the grass quality just doesn't cut it.. then the same can be said for the diet we are eating ourselves. Just cause the grass is green and lush does not make it nutritionally terrific! Just cause the carrot is straight and orange, it is not necessarily full of all the minerals and vitamins we are expecting it to have.
The solution... EASY.. improve your own soil and grow your own. I am in a fabulous, blessed position to have the space for a great big veggie patch and I understand that not everyone else can do this - BUT, why not a few pots on the verandah, or join the local community garden and grow a little of your own. Perhaps support the local farmers market where you will no doubt find local farmers trying to give organic a go and who care about the final taste and nutritional content of the food they grow.
I have always loved the romantic idea of 'Organic' but cost has always been a factor. Now I am convinced that we are becoming left without a choice. I will be improving my soil and planting food for my family.
Another great place to visit on the internet for more terrific research on this topic is my favorite blog- Homestead Revival.
The first step for my little farm is a soil test.. I will keep you updated from there.
Will let you know how it goes and will update you on the growth of the grass,