Allspice Chronicles

Entertain like a Queen, Think Lean and Live Green! A personal collection of recipes,anecdotes,and good old fashioned advice…

Ten Good Reasons to “Think Globally and Act Locally”: Mother Earth Knows Best

by Danica Waters

 

Ten Good Reasons to “Think Globally and Act Locally”: Mother Earth Knows Best

 

With every passing day, escalating reports of our seemingly doomed economy, of the unending strife in our political system, and of the glaring void between “we the people” and “we the large corporations who don’t seem to care” make the need for personal assessment and decision-making increasingly inescapable.  In just a few decades, our modern society as a whole has rendered itself nearly inept at true self-sufficiency.  Technology and specialization have whittled away at our connection with the basic rhythms of nature, and while our grandparents might have been sure to purchase and actually read and utilize the information in their yearly Farmer’s Almanac, these days most of us don’t even know the basics of growing a tomato.  It’s a lot like the feeling of being in a little boat in the middle of a big ocean and realizing you don’t know how to swim.

 

With the possibility of another Great Depression looming, accompanied by projections of skyrocketing inflation, it’s time we started looking at sustainable ways to take care of ourselves and our communities.  While the prospect of making grassroots changes to our hectic lifestyles may seem overwhelming and next to impossible, most successful endeavors start with baby steps.  One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to support change on both a personal and community-based level is to simply pay a visit to your local farm or farmer’s market.  The selection of local seasonal produce will astound you, and it will make for a fun and relaxing weekend excursion.  Beyond the fun, here’s some reasons why buying local makes sense:

 

Your dollar goes directly to support the farm you buy from.

Even if you can’t eliminate your visits to a large grocery store altogether, you can  make small, healthy purchases from your local farm or farmers’ market.  When you purchase from a local farm, be it organic or not, you know every dollar you spend is going to support that particular farm – not some middleman or large conglomerate with questionable corporate relationships and agendas.  A thriving farm contributes to a vibrant local community, a healthy local economy, and helps to ensure that your community’s food supply is viable and plentiful in times of potential crisis.

 

By purchasing from your local farm or farmer’s market, you directly help to reduce pollution and waste.

Purchasing from your local farm or farmer’s market means that you are helping to reduce the amount of long-distance transportation, and the energy consumption, pollution, and waste that are direct results of having to ship food long distances.

 

Buying local puts you in touch with what grows in your area – how, and when.

Strike up a conversation with your local farmer and over time you’ll most certainly learn a few secrets about the local harvest.  Over time, this serves to provide an enhanced connection to the community in which you live, along with greater insight into the community’s challenges and causes for celebration.

 

Don’t know where there’s a farm or market near you?  Don’t fret – you’re not alone.  That’s why the folks at www.localharvest.org have put together a national database of local, sustainable and/or organic farms and farmers’ markets in both rural and urban communities alike.  Bookmark this site!  It’s wonderful to refer to during road trips, as well.

 

 

Add “organic farming” to the equation, and the positives are overwhelming:

 

 

Buying local and organic maximizes the nutritional value of the food you eat.

Organic, “free-fange”, hormone and pesticide-free foods show higher levels of nutrients, vitamins, trace minerals and anti-oxidants.  Shorter storage and transportation times also contribute to the preservation of your food’s nutritional content.

 

Small-scale, local organic farms preserve habitats.

One of the most miraculous aspects of nature is that, when in balance, all beings within the environment or ecosystem work together to support that particular ecosystem.  Optimally, small-scale farms will usually grow several different types of produce, and will support several different kinds of farm animals..  Additionally, the diversity of flora and fauna will provide functional habitats for other animals, as well.  This species diversification promotes a balanced, healthy ecosystem, and allows a wide variety of birds, animals, and insects to work together to support the delicate balance of our planet.

 

Small-scale, local organic farms protect biodiversity.

In commercial farming, the focus is on growing only those species that will travel well and last a long time in transport and on produce shelves.  This generally involves the use of Genetically Modified Organisms, and does not consider the protection and preservation of wild or heirloom species.

 

Local farms generally grow what is best for their specific microclimate and environment, which results in a wide range of plant varieties.  Furthermore, organic farms are actually prohibited from using any Genetically Modified Organisms, which are actually killing off critical pollinator species and threatening the genetic integrity of many different plant species through cross-pollination.

 

Given the medicinal and chemical wonders that are being discovered on a daily basis from the flora on this planet, it is vital that we preserve and support the genetic library for future generations.

 

Organic farms do not use pesticides, hormones, or anything genetically modified.

Organic farms use natural, ecological solutions to solve pest and other farming-related problems.  This not only keeps you away from potentially cancer-causing toxins in your food, but prevents the contamination of groundwater, as well.  Additionally, organic farming prevents the vast annihilation of various bird, animal, fish, and insect species, including the beautiful Monarch Butterfly.

Organic/Free-range is better for you, and for the environment.

Organic, free-range animal products, including eggs, milk, and meat, have been proven to have a much higher nutritional value than their commercially-produced counterparts.  Additionally, a free-range lifestyle allows for the natural disbursement of animal waste over a large area, in amounts that serve to enhance rather than poison the land.

Organic farming eliminates the threat of Mad Cow Disease.

Mad Cow Disease, or Bovine Spongiform encephalopathy, is caused by feeding cattle ground-up remains of their own kind.  This forced cannibalism has disastrous results; Mad Cow Disease destroys the central nervous system and brain.  It can be transmitted to humans in the form of Creutzfeld-Jakob disease. (www.wikipedia.org)

Organic farms support long-term sustainability.

By rotating crops, planting “cover crops”(secondary crops planted in-between rows of the primary crop for natural weed-control and soil amendment), and enhancing the soil with animal manure and other minerals, organic farmers work tirelessly to leave the topsoil even better than they found it. This, in turn, creates “sustainability”, which allows the farm to produce bountiful harvests year after year after year. (www.wikipedia.com)

 

Throughout the month of August, the Allspice Chronicles will focus on the almost-lost art of canning and preserving the bounty of the harvest.  With how-to’s and tasty, tantalizing, economical recipes, our goal is to join thousands of others nationwide as we prepare for the National Can-It-Forward day, August 13, 2011.

 

Need canning supplies?  Check out our favorites featured in the links in the right-hand column of our site.  Each product is personally chosen and highly recommended.  And better yet, a portion of every purchase made via Amazon.com through the links on our website goes to support the Allspice Chronicles.

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Posted in Allspice Chronicles and Danica Waters and Festivals, Markets and Farms and Green Living and local harvest.org and Natural Housekeeping and Home Remedies by danica on August 1st, 2011 at 3:11 pm.

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