Why Grow Your Own Food Discussion

Our Story

  • Our first two children, Zoe and Ethan were diagnosed with severe allergies. Up until this day, we average about one trip a year to the emergency room due to one of them having experieced an anaphylactic reaction (difficulty breathing) after swallowing some nut by mistake.
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  • We then felt compelled to investigate the source of our food. It must be something in the food that we eat that’s causing these allergies. So we decided to buy more organic food, starting with milk. We didn’t make the switch all at once because it was definitely more expensive.

    Dave, who had been gardening since he was little decided we should grow our own tomatoes at least. And so we did.

    And we failed miserably!

Until we found permaculture…

One of the first things people ask us is: “What is permaculture?”

Sometimes we say the following:

“It is sustainable agriculture. Permanent + Agriculture = Permaculture.”
“It is sustainable design based on observation.”
“Lazy gardening.”
“It is a wholistic design system that incorporates your home, with your garden, with your families needs in sustainable living.”
“It’s hard to explain.”

There’s a whole lot of the word “sustainable” in our definitions, but have you ever asked what the word “sustainable” really means?

Bill Mollison, the founder of permaculture liked to say that something was “sustainable only when… “The output of a system is greater than > the input to the system intially.”

Real life example:
So you may perhaps initially haul topsoil to create your new backyard garden, but that should NOT be every year. Each year, you should be building soil so that you are creating new soil bit by bit until eventually the soil + produce + happiness you get out of garden far outweighs the carbon footprint + the soil + the materials needed to create it.

To put this in perspective, in a year’s time, ideally, you would have created at least an inch of new soil!

  • After taking our Permaculture Design Course (Dave is currently taking an online one) we started being able to grow more and more, little by little. We started small by building one raised bed. Soon, we built a keyhole raised bed and converted our entire backyard from lawn to suburban food forest.
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  • Around this time, we started watching more health and wellness documentaries like Food Inc., and Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. Soon we started converting even our neighbors backyards. And more neighbors.

    But the question remains..

Why grow our own food?

We grow for…

Health Reasons:

Our two eldest kids used to be allergic to fish, peas, chicken, eggs, milk and wheat… aside from nuts.  Now, they have outgrown most of their allergies except for most nuts.  They can even eat almonds now!

Moreover, none of our subsequent 4 children have any known food allergies thus far.

Environmental Reasons

The one thing anyone can do with the biggest positive environmental impact (more than solar or wind power) is growing your own food.

Check out our blog about this called Growing Food: The Green Choice.

So accessible, literally, so fruitful.

Spiritual Reasons:

We literally discover God in the garden through His creation. We try to bring back the Garden of Eden in every backyard garden of abundance we plan.

A presentation on this called, “God in the Garden” is coming again in the near future. This is a gardeners perspective of God’s fingerprints in nature.

We get “grounded” and relaxed. We slow it down in this fast-paced world. Food gardening feeds not only our bodies but our souls.

Now tell us in the comments below, what are our reasons for growing your own food?

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