You are what you eat, or so the saying goes, so why do you want to give away control of what you eat to someone or something that you don’t know? Its a question that not enough of us ask, probably because its just easier not to. Its easier to have someone grow or raise the food, and then process into a usable, tasty form, without having to ask questions about where it comes from and what is done to it before it gets to your table.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of problems that go along with the modern food industry. You may be concerned about the fuel that is used to grow and transport agricultural goods to the end consumer. Maybe its a desire to eat meats that haven’t been pumped full of antibiotics, and which eventually make their way into your blood and local water supplies. Perhaps you’ve got an issue with the way genetically modified plants prohibit farmers from using seeds produced from their crops. Maybe you don’t like the idea of someone tinkering with the genetic structure of what you’re eating. Or sometimes you just want something that tastes better because it hasn’t been sitting around in a truck or on a shelf for the last month since being picked.
Many of these issues can be resolved by reducing the distance between between you and your food. Buying locally produced food reduces the amount of fuel needed to agricultural output to you. Buying from a local grower means you can more easily ask about the processes used in their production systems, including antibiotics, seeds, fertilizers, and you may even be able to go visit the farm. It will also increase the likelihood that your food is actually fresh. The best way to reduce the distance between your food and you is to grow it yourself, to become the farmer.
Fortunately, growing food for yourself has probably never been easier. There’s a ton of free information out there just waiting to be learned by you. Youtube is a great resource area because it provides visual lessons produced by people who are actually growing things. Almost anything from growing grapes to raising rabbits can be found somewhere on youtube, all you have to do is look for it, and start doing it.
There are three levels to being a Rogue farmer. Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
Bronze – Pick something that you normally buy, and grow it from seed. Consume some of what you grow, but harvest seeds from it and then grow it again. Participate in the full cycle of life of a plant. From seed to product and back to seed again.
Silver – Grow and preserve enough of your chosen crop to be able to not purchase any more of it for a year from outside sources.
Gold – Grow enough of your home-grown produce to sustain your needs for a year and sell whatever you think is extra at a farmer’s market.
Don’t forget to let people know about your Rogue farming experience by documenting your activities on your favorite social media sites and when you are successful, download the appropriate medal and post it where people will always be able to see it, like in your profile photos or on a sidebar of your blog. Uses the notices below to post in your feeds and timelines.
If you’d like a few more resources on food and gardening please check out the following for some of our favorites, and link to some of your favorites in the comments section.
Food in General:
Gardening as Activism: http://www.activistpost.com/2016/06/gardening-more-meaningful-than-voting-in-a-rigged-political-system.html
Michael Pollan – In defense of food
One edition of Salatin’s speech “Folks, this aint normal”
Audio interview with Joel Salatin from Reluctant Preppers youtube channel
Audio interview with Elizabeth and Paul Kaiser, the farmers at Singing Frogs Farms.
Food Production Methods:
Square Foot Gardening: A video introduction to a gardening method that’s perfect for backyards.
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