Thursday, July 1, 2010

Growing food in my own backyard

One of my greatest joys is weeding my herb garden. Not only does a weed-free garden look spectacular, but it smells so nice while I'm doing it. Pulling quack grass from around a mound of lemon thyme or clover that has found its way next to a sage bush brings sweet fragrant rewards. The same is true with the unwanted invaders near the lavender, dill, and rosemary.

Growing my own herbs and other edibles is a longtime passion of mine. But it isn't just because bringing food from the backyard to the kitchen table or opening a jar of canned tomatoes in the dead of winter is so satisfying. It is also because I am becoming increasingly concerned about the cost of the food we buy at the grocery store.

The cost is not just the price, but the potential health risks. What we think is natural food may have been altered via technology.

I am becoming increasingly concerned about the impact that large corporations, unregulated imports, and loose standards in our own country are having on the food we eat. No one should die or become ill from eating food they thought was nutritious.

From what my non-scientifically-trained mind can glean from what is occurring today, there could be an inherent danger, if not immediately, but in the long term, from eating genetically modified food. I am not convinced that large bio tech companies responsible for changing the basic structure of the food we think we are eating is the right thing to do—at least not without adequate controls and testing. I doubt these huge corporate entities give a rip about my health.

The answer may be in a growing trend—locally-grown food. Not only is it nice to know where our food comes from, but it may be essential to our health and well being.

The advantages of locally-grown food, especially when it comes from our own backyards are numerous, not only to ourselves and to our families, but to the well being of mankind.

It all comes back to my garden. The more I learn about how things are done beyond the reaches of my own backyard, the more I am drawn to that little patch of food growing there.