Friday, January 2, 2009

Make a Resolution

Happy New Year!

What a great weather way to start it off, eh? 70's and sunny, my kind of weather. The garden seems to be loving it, too. So long as we get some rain, it will be great. You know, you can irrigate a garden, but nothing seems to do a garden as much good as a good soaking rainfall.

Things are growing, slowly but surely, and I hope we can see some real growth of the brocolli and cabbage here pretty soon. What I may do for next weekend is if you want to come harvest some greens, you can come out and we'll harvest together, or if you want to wait and let things mature, you can do that, too. We'll see how things go after this weekend and I'll be in touch via email.

For those of you who sent well wishes for my father, thank you so much. He's in the hospital and awaiting some more testing. I can say that, sadly, much of my father's ill health is related to poor nutrition and lousy eating choices over most of his adult life - as well as smoking since very young in life and lack of activity over the past 14 or so years. He's really a young man by today's standards, but much resembles the 66 going on 67 of decades past. He's more like a modern day 80 yr old - and that would be an insult to some 80+ people I know! So, when you kids hear your mothers telling you to "eat your vegetables" it isn't because the food will spoil - it is because your bodies need the nutrients found in them. Something my father just doesn't seem to grasp. And, neither do a lot of people. It is amazing how many of our friends and neighbors don't understand basic nutrition. What is it they are teaching in school anymore?

These steps we as people of a new mind set are taking to eat local/healthy/organic are so important for our future generations! Setting the example to your kids and us farmers making it available to anyone who really seeks healthy food is critical I believe, to America's health. There are many out there who truly feel our food chain is breaking down - rapidly. And there are others who feel that the drug companies and the food companies are in cahoots together to make us all sickly.

Well, while I don't know about any of that - I do know that I want to know where my food comes from and how it is grown as much as possible. Even if it means limiting the variety and/or quantity of food I can get. I eat out very rarely anymore and when I do, try to hit a healthy place. Unless I'm having one of my cheese fry/mushroom burger binges - which I do have every so often. I admit, I'm not a purist all the time. : /

When I set out to start growing organic food, I thought I could just grow a small garden for myself, or I could see if others wanted the same thing, that maybe just didn't have the time or the know-how to grow it themselves. I knew people came to the market days wanting fresh produce and there was certainly a shortage of local, organic farmers around here.

My fellow farm friends in TOFGA had been pushing me to start farming for a couple of years but I couldn't figure out how to do it and still pay the bills, etc. Thank goodness for CSA and you dedicated people in the DFW area who want to see a farm out here. We're doing it! And now, we'll all have access to this kind of food, right here close by.

With the young folks interested in farming that are making contact with me, even after I'm too feeble to farm, I think you'll find others taking up the torch and carrying it on. I believe that local farming is here to stay and local eating is the best way to assure our survival and good health.

I want to end this entry with a short video of our renewable energy system addition. Water for our gardens comes from a pump that is powered by a couple of donated batteries, thank you CSA members Herb and Barbara Perkins. Those batteries are now not only charged by solar panels, but as engineered by volunteer Leo Samalot and Herb - a wind turbine! Is this cool or what? Parts were cheap and/or recylced! Herb will be writing a paper on it soon and I'll put up a link to it for those interested.

See, part of my goal here is to make it clear to others who want to raise organic food that it doesn't have to be really as expensive as so many (of us) thought, to get started. Farmers need to be paid a decent living for the quality food they are growing - yes!, don't get me wrong, the price of cheap food is a sin and has put many farmers out of business. But the capital they do earn is often eaten up for irrigating and power because they rely on the power company to send well water to their fields, or pay for city water - and that gets really expensive! When you don't have natural water tank like I do, you can catch water from rain events - as we'll do eventually, too, (and document the "how-to" here, as well). In this way, the cost of farming goes down a lot. More can be spent on modernizing, more seed variety and production costs, equipment, etc., not to mention just plain living expenses which don't go down, rather than paying utility companies for the basics. Renewable energy has its limitations, but it is a great way to go. Herb and Leo are owed a debt of thanks - and an extra helping of greens! : )

Have a great weekend everyone. I'll be here working in the gardens much of it, getting ready for the next blast of cold! Gotta love Dallas weather....

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

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