‘Postmodern organics’ can begin in your own backyard
“The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.”
– William Gibson
Be prepared for postmodern organics.
As the Gibson quote intimates, we often don’t realize we’re living “in” the future because it’s not understood, or seen for what it is. We’re like frogs in slowly heated water; we don’t realize the “future” is here until we’re
We have grown so used to the factory farm model of thousands of acres being planted by a handful of human beings that we’ve forgotten that even a small plot (say 10 feet by 20 feet) can amply supplement the diet of a family for three seasons of the year.
Even a 4-by-8-foot “Jim’s plot” can stretch a food dollar and add greatly to the health of a family by providing, safe, fresh, nutritious, wholesome veggies.
As I told attendees to the Mississippi Urban Forest Council conference this week, if neighbors, families, churches or civic organizations joined to grow food, they could “feed the world” (or those who matter to them), too.
Two issues will decide the “future” now:
•Whether genetically modified organisms, seeds, crops (GMO) must be labeled, so
consumers have their own health in their own hands through their own choices;
• Whether the budding small organic (boutique, backyard or urban) farm movement continues to accelerate with ever more markets opening for them.
How will this effect the future?
The labeling debate could well decide the future of GMO – if people don’t buy it, farmers won’t plant it, ergo : NO MO’ GMO.
The small farm movement is what will save rural communities by eradicating “food deserts,” employing local people in the production and distribution of “real” food. That will also better people’s health by fighting obesity,
hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and the like caused by high-fat, high-sugar, processed “food products.”
That insistence on local, organic food will reduce the giant factory farm dependence (if the government reduced its subsidies propping it up, putting small organic on an even playing field or gave equal amounts to small startups).
That’s postmodern organics:
•Adoption of proven methods for crop production over the unsustainable so-called “conventional” chemical methods;
•Locally produced jobs and an emphasis on health, sounding the death knell for the agri/biz conglomerates that produce the nonfood that is killing us.
We each can do our part in this by growing our own organic food – which we can do in our backyards – or by buying organic, rejecting GMO, supporting locally grown food and only voting for those who look out for the consumer first.
Sign GMO petition: GMO foods in the U.S. should be labeled. Sign the Environmental Working Group’s petition telling the FDA to Just Label It! bit.ly/yar75l
Local plants & shrubs. Clinton is having a big sale of native plants – perennials, trees and shrubs – in honor of Arbor Day (which is today in Mississippi).
The Clinton Community Nature Center Arbor Day Native Plant and Antique Rose sale is Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., 617 Dunton Road, Clinton. For more, see: www.clintonnaturecenter.org.
Great book: I finally got around to reading Robin Mather’s book: The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week), which came out last year (Ten Speed Press, $24). And I couldn’t put it down.
You may remember, Robin at one time was The Clarion-Ledger food editor. Now,
she’s at Mother Earth News.
I bought the book on my Kindle. But it has really great-looking recipes in it, so I turned around and ordered a hardback to give to my beautiful wife Annette.
If you buy a book twice and tell everybody to read it, is that an endorsement squared!?
Come see me: I’ll be speaking Feb. 25 at the Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi conference at Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond on Organic Backyard Market Gardening. For more, see: www.ggsim.org.
Jim PathFinder Ewing is a journalist, author, writer, editor, organic farmer and blogger. His latest book titled Conscious Food: Sustainable Growing, Spiritual Eating (Findhorn Press) is in bookstores now. Find Jim on Facebook: http://bit.ly/cuxUdc or follow him @edibleprayers or @organicwriter or visit blueskywaters.com.