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Food rebels are planting seeds of independence in their front and backyards all over the country, despite oppressive laws, enforced by local officials. From Florida to Michigan, to Montana, people are visiting grocery stores less and growing their own food, as an affordable alternative for getting fresh, organic produce to their plates. As economic times get tougher citizens are digging up new ideas to stretch their dollars — bucking zoning laws, breaking old trends, and upsetting disgruntled neighbors.
The latest incidence of food rebellion comes from Orlando, Florida, where a man planted an assortment of bok choy, carrots, and other veggies in his front yard. The NY Times reports the self-employed consultant set up an organic garden out front and a chicken coop out back to help save money. Unfortunately, the city is demanding that he rip out his garden and recover it with the status quo lawn.
With today's rubbish economy and the government's never ending list of rules
and regulations, citizens should continue such acts of civil disobedience and grow their own damn food, free of chemicals and genetically modified organisms. This could help weather the storm as economic hardships continue. Organic back or "front" yard gardens provide cheap, nutrient-dense foods, and are good for the environment.
Seeds of Plenty
So how affordable is it to grow your own food? Well, WSJ stated if you can cough up around $70 up front, you can reap around $600 a year in homegrown vegetables. A dollar's worth of seeds will generate $75 worth of green beans, and even the lowly potato will generate $5 of spuds for each $1 you invest in seeds, according to the article.
While the government keeps devaluing our currency and unemployment holds steady at around 10 percent, why not grow something of value and help your home economy. For just a couple bucks you can get yourself a packet of seeds that will produce bright, beautiful, aromatic veggies that will add flavor and richness to any dish you serve.
Know you food
Growing your own food ensures you know what's in and on your plate. You know how it's made, from seed to soil. Many of these mini farms are grown without pesticides or genetically modified seeds. Who wants to put food in his body that's covered in 20 to 30 different types of chemicals? Not this guy. Unfortunately the majority of food found in grocery stores contains these toxins. If you choose to grow a garden, you can opt out of commercial farming practices and produce food that's chemical-free and more nutritious.
One of the best things about growing your own food — aside from the convenience of walking out the door and plucking a tomato from the vine at its prefect ripeness — is the number of nutrients found in it. Some say vitamins and minerals are more abundant — up to 25 percent more — in organically grown food. This is because synthetic fertilizers lack the variety of minerals found in organic soil.
If pesticides and synthetic fertilizers weren't bad enough, consumers also have to worry about whether their food is genetically modified. Recent studies show these Franken-foods really aren't good for us. GM foods can cause severe allergic reactions in animals, have decreased nutritional value, and are actually toxic.
Be good to mother earth
Not only is organic gardening good for you but it's good for the environment as well. Pesticides and other toxins used in conventional farming are eliminated, leaving nature to take her course. After all, the only completely sustainable ecosystem is a natural one.
If enough people grew their own organic gardens or supported people who did, there wouldn't be as much demand for mega-farm production, ultimately reducing the amount of chemical fertilizers and pesticides used worldwide.
Genetically engineered crops require more pesticides and herbicides than their non–GMO counterparts. The more these chemicals are used, the greater the chance pests and weeds will become resistant to them. What farmers once thought of as a wonder spray — Monsanto's Roundup herbicide — has now led to "superweeds," which they have no control over.
Organic gardening might require a little more creativity when it comes to pest control, but at least you won't have to worry about superweeds like the one in the Little Shop of Horrors or superbugs breaking through your fly swatter.
Join the revolution
The gardening revolution is growing. Websites are offering an endless array of seeds for sale. Plant a couple and see the results for yourself. In a matter of months you can have plump, juicy cucumbers; crisp, sweet carrots; dark-green leafy kale; or any of a host of options. It's your yard after all, do what you want.
Some may be thinking, "But, Butcher, I don't have a yard and my time is limited." No problem. Just get yourself some grow boxes, compost, soil and seeds, and make sure your soon-to-be grown garden has access to the sun's shining rays.
It's up to you and you alone to know what's in your food, and there's no better way to know than to produce it yourself. So let's reject the food oligarchs' cheap, junk food and grow our own. Remember, eat free or die!