Growing Your Vegetables Is a Good Idea
It’s a smart idea to be growing your vegetables for many reasons
New conventional farming techniques spearheaded by large companies have changed the organic agricultural methods to such a point that in many cases growing your vegetables in nice healthy soil had been replaced with large crops of one type of vegetables being forced to grow in a very unhealthy environment — unhealthy for the vegetable and in turn unhealthy for us, the consumer. LET ME EXPLAIN WHY — WHAT WAS HAPPENING.
1: Growing your vegetables by using mixed farming/crop rotation was replaced by growing only one type of vegetable over and over again in the same soil
For example: Back in the ’60s, potato farmers in Prince Edward Island had been persuaded to do less mixed farming and grow more potatoes to satisfy consumer demand.
I remember it well!
These leaders were going from place to place, targeting especially the farmers’ coops, and telling farmers that instead of following the idea of growing their own vegetables, it would be more profitable to plant huge fields of one crop and use more synthetic fertilizers which they claimed were just as good as compost . . . that in the end the cost of the fertilizer would be offset by selling more produce. I remember how the NB farmers decided to decline the offer and continue with mixed farming.
At the time, PEI farmers who had been using the mixed farming method of growing their vegetables were organized into Co-ops, and, in addition to growing enough veggies for their own families, had been producing different varieties of delicious potatoes which had become renowned as being the best in the world.
2. Organic Compost was replaced by “special” synthetic fertilizers
However, when the farmers began abandoning mixed farming and growing their vegetables in favor of growing huge crops of only one, maybe two, types of vegetable, the soil was slowly being depleted of much-needed nutrients. The soil was not receiving supplemental nutrients since fertilizing with organic compost/good old fashion manure and crop rotation had been eliminated.
To make matters worse, the new synthetic fertilizers did not replenish the soil with all necessary micronutrients and macronutrients either, so each farmer’s crop, including the PEI potatoes, became less healthy… not only did they not feel and taste the same anymore but also their “shelf life” was shorter.
3: By using the new modern methods of fertilization instead of growing your vegetables and using organic soil amendments, farmers need to do excessive spraying as crops become less healthy
It’s a well-known fact that any vegetable which is less than healthy gets attacked more frequently by insects or fungus, so to keep their crops from being destroyed, these big farmers had no choice but to spray more often with insecticides and/or pesticides.
Here’s an example of what I saw in the summer of 2003. . . a situation which makes me believe that more food than we think is being laced with insecticide/pesticide…
Let me explain. From early spring until October, I traveled every day down a country road here in Ontario. At the beginning of the summer, I noticed this huge field being planted, and as time passed, I soon recognized that these plants were head lettuce.
One day when the plants were almost mature, I saw, to my horror, that a tractor pulling spraying equipment was going from row to row as it sprayed a horrible-smelling liquid I recognized as being the smell of insecticide.
Before that crop was completely pulled out, I had witnessed those plants being sprayed at least one more time. (I couldn’t help but wonder where in the lettuce that spray had ended up!. . .)
Then later on during the summer, when half the field had no more of this first crop of lettuce, I noticed workers were replanting another crop on that same stretch of land. Now maybe they added compost to the field before replanting, but I saw no signs that anything of that nature had been done.
Before the summer was over, this second crop of head lettuce had been treated with the same spraying routine.
Imagine! How can soil support two crops of the same type of vegetable in one summer without being replenished?
Because of the spraying, how could any living organism and/or precious worms which are so necessary to keep the soil healthy survive?
Those people growing their own vegetables used methods that kept the vegetables healthy and filled with nutrients. Obviously, these new methods could not yield the same quality of healthy vegetables.
Reason 4: Farmers are forced to use chemical fertilizers instead of the organic fertilizer
Another example: In the spring of 2004, one day around 9:30 a.m., my brother and I happened to be driving along a country road past a farm where the farmer was spreading chemical-based fertilizer.
Being a beautiful spring day, we had our car windows down. All of a sudden a strong gust of wind came breezing our way and brought with it a stark sharp smell that made us both choke and gasp. The smell of that fertilizer was 10 times worst than fresh manure which in all my years of experience has never made me choke up (gag maybe, but not choke)!
As we quickly closed the windows, I asked my brother, “Why on earth do farmers use such junk?”
He answered: “One of the farmers told me that composted cattle manure was hard to ‘come by’ because cattle farmers hang onto it. The vegetable farmers who do not own cattle have no choice but to buy this fertilizer!” He went on to explain that most farmers have very little money and cannot afford to buy compost by the ton, hence must resort to this chemical-based cheaper fertilizer.
Unfortunately, people, not realizing to what degree the quality of the vegetables had deteriorated, had turned to buying their vegetables instead of growing their own vegetables.
For the longest time, the consumer did not realize they were part of a vicious circle. . . . 1) vegetables lacking more and more in nutrients and 2) insecticide/pesticide on our food and spreading in our water table. No wonder cancer and other disease are rampant!
And now for the worst news of all . . .
5. Big companies are trying to force farmers (and the ordinary homeowner who wishes to try growing their own vegetables) to buy and plant Genetically Altered Seeds in their fields
After watching “The Future of Our Food” (a rented documentary that I watched), I can understand the farmer’s predicament. Not only are farmers forced to use synthetic fertilizers but they must now contend with genetically altered seeds.
As I was viewing the video, the part about how big companies are planning to sell seeds that have been genetically altered to self-destruct after one year of growth made me feel really sorry for the farmers as well as for us consumers!
How will farmers be able to survive?
How will we survive if we are not allowed to choose our seeds when growing our own vegetables? How can seeds be saved for the following year’s crop if they are to self-destruct? How are these plants growing from genetically altered seeds going to affect our health?