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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Spring is near!

Mar 01, 2013 07:52PM ● By Given the fluctuations in traditional weather patterns, we have no guarantee of what kind of growing season awaits, but plow we must because a healthy life starts here.

As plant buds swell and nature prepares for the spring’s burst of splendors, local gardeners and farmers are preparing to seed for glorious harvests in the months ahead. Given the fluctuations in traditional weather patterns, we have no guarantee of what kind of growing season awaits, but plow we must because a healthy life starts here.

With the increasing loss of green acres to development, proliferating use of pesticides and herbicides, genetically engineered agriculture monopolies and poor land stewardship, more Americans are taking up the cause of creating usable areas to grow good food locally. The call for clean healthy soil, land and water has become paramount for those of us who want to see organic, wholesome and natural foods flourish. The battle continues to make these available to all and the renewed interest has raised awareness of how we use available spaces.

Now rooftops, vacant lots and public green places are becoming viable growing plots for city dwellers. I love to see the creative uses of these spots that are shown to be viable when people get serious about eating healthy and really want their greens! Occupy Vacant Lots in Philadelphia has produced some simple yet life-changing gardens in forgotten or abandoned spaces, pioneering the way for future urban growers and green thumbs.

South Jersey suburbanites don’t have to drive far to see why New Jersey is named the Garden State. But the green yards ornamenting the local sprawl where most of us live perpetuate pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers. Imagine what would be possible if these thousands of acres were converted to delicious food-producing gardens. How wonderful it would be to have an abundance of healthful food to pass around to our neighbors and help the elderly and infirm with gifts of life.

A neighborly basket of fresh produce would indeed be a welcome sight for those suffering from nutrition deficits and disease, including problems such as high cholesterol or triglycerides (learn more on page 14). Improving the food we eat is a sure path to improving the quality of our lives.

The more we learn about the origins of health-giving foods, the more we understand the importance of preserving the rich array of vegetables, fruits and nuts known as heirloom varieties. America’s present monoculture techniques of large-scale farming will become a thing of the past as we nationally awake to the fact that diversity is the only path to true sustainability through the generations. A news brief on page 7 tunes us into the April 21 talk by Jeffrey Smith , a preeminent expert on genetically modified organisms (GMO crops) who will  explain what we all can do to help preserve and protect our lands and seeds.

The Beatles had it right: “You know that what you eat you are.”  I can’t wait to see what my grandsons will plant in our family garden this month. I am grateful their Dad finds the time to show them how.

Eat well and smile!
Don Moore, Publisher

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