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Grow your own Victory Garden
 
In our August/September 2017 newsletter, we shared the story of the Victory Garden (VG) movement. Victory Gardens evolved as a necessity of wartime austerity - the troops tookfirst precedent to large swags of the food supply that would normally be available for home consumption. Local food supplies were also disrupted when ships carrying supplies were lost in action. Rationing of food was the norm.
 
The good old days?

 
In the original Victory Garden movement, most people lived on Australia’s famous quarter acre blocks. This was a primary requisite for the VG initiative – space for a veggie patch, a compost bin in the corner, chooks for eggs, a few fruit trees, and even room for a goat for milk. Kitchen scraps were always dug back into the garden and there was a neat line of preserves on the pantry shelf.
Every aspect of this picture depended on people having the knowledge and time to do this. Women were the primary home keepers back then and often established a home garden to stretch the household budget further. They were also the preservers of excess crop production. The majority of women didn’t earn income from jobs.
 
Different times…different food
 
We all know for the vast proportion of the Aussie population these days, few of these factors prevail. In fact, you are considered quite different if you grow your own food today. It was the norm up until the 1950’s, less common in the 1960’s and so it progressed to the 21st century where apartment blocks and courtyard homes now mean you may be lucky to have a windowsill on which to grow some food.
 
In the 21st
century, most fresh food is grown on factory farms. In Australia, for vegetables that means chemical farming to the extreme. For example, all mass commercial vegetables are sprayed weekly with a pesticide or fungicide that has a “skull and bones” on the can. The soil is no better than a hydroponic medium within which the roots are immersed, and most nutrition comes from the fertilisers applied by the farmer. There is nothing sustainable about this. It relies on large inputs of petro-chemicals and petro-fuels.
This kind of farming burns soil carbon and grows food that is lacking in taste and nutrients. Soil loss is a guaranteed outcome with continual mining of the soil.
 
Food is essential to life, and high-quality fresh food is essential to good health. We urge you to reject the poor quality food you think of as ‘normal’ and rediscover food that has real taste, vitality and life-enhancing properties.
Commercially grown tomatoes versus home grown tomatoes…which would you prefer?
To grow and eat nutrient dense organic food is a personal victory over not only the profit-based chemical agricultural system, but also the over-burdened medical system.
 
The change from organic to chemical agriculture
 
There was a time where all food production was organic simply because there were no chemicals, fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. It wasn’t until quite recently, the late 19th and early 20th century, that chemical agriculture was being touted as superior to the ways of organic growing. Organic farming, with its primary focus on soil fertility, crop rotations, manures, composts, rock dust fertilisation and even the ancient practices like “singing” into water to give it vitality got seen as the ‘slow’ way. And the industrial revolution was speeding things up. More quick profits could be made by using quick-fix chemicals against pests and diseases and artificial fertilisers to speed growth. So the widespread adoption of chemical agriculture proceeded at great pace.
 
Organic agriculture gave quality. The new agriculture gave quantity
 
 
The new ‘normal’
 
There were some who stood back and commented on how the two agricultures were not equal.
 
As far back as 1894, Julius Hensel published a book called “Bread from Stones”. As an agricultural scientist and miller, he’d observed the beneficial effects of basalt rock dust on farm produce. But his book and ideas represented the “old” agriculture and presented an affront to the key proponents of the “new” chemical agriculture. His observations and clear explanations challenged the money-making activities of the rising industrial barons of Germany and they set about discrediting, prosecuting and then burning every one of his books.
 
In 1924, Austrian Dr. Rudolf Steiner held a series of lectures that were the result of many farmers’ concerns about the declining quality of the food being grown. His series of lectures set out the guidelines for an agriculture that went on to be called ‘biodynamics’ – a system that produces food of highest quality. According to Steiner, the consumption of biodynamic produce would give consumers ‘willpower and good health’. He had observed that food from chemical agriculture was watery, and resulted in wishy washy people. Now, some 93 years on, how wishy washy have we become? We simply don’t know any better. Poor quality food is today’s ‘normal’, and modern agriculture has no concern for improving the health-giving benefits of its produce.
 
Food is medicine
 
Hippocrates stated: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Yet surprisingly many people don’t make the connection between the nutrient poor food they consume and their health problems. You may think you are eating healthy but our new ‘normal’ may actually be contributing to the rise in diseases and health problems.
 
After decades of decline, we no longer remember what vibrant health is like and have surrendered our health to a system that actually promotes dis-ease. And its only when disease strikes that we start investigating and looking for remedies. It is then that we discover the poor quality of the food we’ve consumed all our life, our body’s ‘fuel’, is the key to our state of health. But did your GP tell you that?
 
Taking action
 
The threats from conventional agriculture are chemical residues, an agriculture that is mining the soil, food devoid of taste and nutrients, a reliance on the long supply chains to remain functional, declining seed genetics and possible genetic modification or pollination with GM material and then simply, the profitability of this system.
 
Our home gardens give us the chance to redress this situation. Home grown, organically produced food is far superior in taste and nutrition because a healthy soil will produce healthy food, which in turn gives good health.
If you don’t have a patch of earth, get some raised beds or courtyard pots, fill them with Vital Veggies soil and grow some nutrient dense greens. Try growing sprouts on your kitchen window. Source the rest of your fresh food from organic markets.
 
Growing your own food at home, or in a community garden gives you control. By shifting your money and allegiance away from mass-produced chemical-based agriculture and investing it into growing your own, you will regain sovereignty over the quality of your food and health.
These are the new Victory Gardens.
Resources
http://rockdustlocal.com/uploads/3/4/3/4/34349856/bread_from_stones.pdf
 
http://theconversation.com/the-real-cost-of-pesticides-in-australias-food-boom-20757
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