Going organic? Here’s how to go homegrown

How do you deal with health during the times of resources depletion and global climate change? While battling to ban Monsanto and harmful chemicals in our processed foods, how can we look after our health priorities?

By eating sustainably.

There’s an undeniable connection between what we eat and how our health is. The famous saying, “you are what you eat” holds the code to change our eating habits in times of global resources crisis. If you’re already health conscious about eating, you may already be buying what’s labelled as “organic”. But ever wondered why these organic foods are even more expensive than the regular mass-produced food? Because, somewhere in the supply chain, it is NOT sustainable enough. The prices are higher because of the higher costs involved in production of such food. I am not denying their organic nature but the higher prices are worth giving a thought since it all comes in “packs” from your organic food retail store.

So what can be done?

Let’s go back to the roots. Let me quote Hippocrates (460 – 370 B.C). “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”. And what’s happening now is the complete anti-thesis of these roots.

Converting to organic vegetarianism and switching to sustainable eating will do the trick. Food matters, a documentary which talks about how the current supply of food is polluted with harmful pesticides and how to grow your own food and live a sustainable life, is an inspiring movie. There are several ways in which we can switch to sustainable eating. Growing your own food makes a great deal of difference.

If you live in a house which has a backyard, you can make a little kitchen garden. It’s easy to grow vegetables like tomatoes and spring onions in garden pots without resorting to pesticides. In fact, if you want them to grow better, you can use your kitchen waste (minus plastics!) as an organic manure. This way you can ensure that the vegetables you grow are truly organic.

Going Homegrown

If you have bid adieu to genetically modified vegetables and wish to grow in your garden in pots, below is a list of vegetables that can be easily grown in pots.

Beetroot, eggplant, spring onions, lettuce, tomatoes, garlic, carrots, radishes and cucumber are easy to grow in pots. Even if you live in an apartment, you will be able to grow these plants in small pots in the sit-out area.

Beetroot: For best results try growing “Red Ace” type. All you need is a pot, which has at least 12 inches depth so that beets can grow freely. Within such a space, you can grow up to six different plants. Best time to grow is between May and September.

Eggplant: Any pot which is at least 5 inches deep is sufficient to grow eggplant. But to hold the plant, make sure you use a straight stick.

Spring onions: Onions and garlic are pretty easy to grow. Virtually maintenance free, onions can be grown in 5-inch deep pots during spring and autumn. Ensure watering the pot actively. Once it’s summer, the foliage dries out and the bulb-sized onions can be pulled out.

Lettuce: In case of lettuce, the size of pot doesn’t matter. All you need to do is: take fertile soil, sow the seeds and keep the soil moist.

Tomatoes: Red, juicy tomatoes can be easily grown in 5-inch deep pots. Try these popular dwarf varieties: patio, tiny tim and window box roma to begin with.

Carrots: Varieties like thumbelina, short and sweet and little fingers are best to grow in containers. To get a healthier yield, water the pot actively. For longer plants, make sure you choose deeper pots.

Cole crops like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli are the easiest to grow in pots. You can grow all these plants in one single pot.

If you happen to live on the ground floor and wish to make a vegetable garden, go the Fukuoka way. Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese farmer and philosopher, proposed the idea of natural farming. He discovered that the westernised way of farming wasn’t right. In his book, The One-Straw Revolution, he writes how several species of crops can be grown in the same piece of land. Grab a copy of Fukuoka’s book to get deep into his farming techniques.

Other ways of eating sustainably if you can’t grow at home

  • Go to the local farmer’s market to buy your veggies / fruits / grains
  • Use the whole vegetable
  • Buy local eggs
  • Ditch processed foods and meat
  • Use unprocessed grains
  • Soak beans / grains overnight
  • Buy local bread from a local bakery

Food is health. Make a revolutionary choice.

(FOOD INC is yet another insightful documentary on healthy sustainable eating)



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