The Footsteps of the Farmer are His Best Fertilizer
– by Colle and Phyllis Davis
Old Japanese proverb (modern translation): “The closer you are to your plants and animals each day, the easier it is to observe and respond to their needs.”
If you have raised children or lived on a farm, this wise proverb makes perfect sense.
The moral of the story is that when you are interacting with the food you are raising, you become very attuned to each plant and each animal and you are acutely aware of their needs on a daily basis. Then you can respond by providing them with exactly what they need to provide you with the finest food in the world. When you are in control of their world, you reap the benefits of your efforts.
In today’s modern (fast paced) urban life, the food that arrives at your table has been grown as quickly as possible to meet shipping requirements, then processed, packed, shipped, unpacked and sometimes processed again (repackaged, cooked and canned, or frozen) for your consumption. Many urban dwellers have no conception where their food comes from or how it arrives on their plate. Most don’t care and do not want to be bothered with knowing.
What about growing your own food? Even a tiny lettuce seed or tomato seed planted in sand in a coffee can is a start. The investment costs are negligible and the rewards are enormous. Expanding the idea a tiny bit by planting a window box or even a few seeds in a planter out on your patio. Oh, wait, winter is coming, how about planting some lettuce in a shallow tray placed in the window and turned every day. Do you have an aquarium? Use some of the fish water to water your tiny seedlings to create an open aquaponics system. Fish and plants separated and cared for by a human toting the water. The joy you will feel when you harvest your first plant is hard to describe.
That is a start. Next step is building a tiny aquaponics system using some grow lights. Now you are raising some of your own food. Proud barely covers your feelings when you sit down at your dining table to enjoy food grown by your own hands.