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Successful Homesteading, Issue # 38, Why Gardening is Crucial to Survival
June 03, 2011

Issue #038, June 3, 2011

Why Gardening is Crucial to Survival

You've heard all the plusses of gardening, about how much money you can save, the benefits of exercise and fresh air, and the best-tasting food you've ever eaten. But these days, gardening is not only beneficial, it is downright crucial to our lives and health. Here's why:

Dangerous Chemicals in Canned Foods

According to one study, little less than one fifth of the American diet is made up of canned food, and that's not a good thing. That's because many of the cans that contain vegetables, soups and meats are lined with an epoxy liner made with Bisphenol A or BPA. BPA mimics human estrogen and has been linked to breast cancer and early puberty in women.

Canned tomatoes are especially dangerous as the acid in the tomatoes can break down the BPA into even more dangerous amounts.

Pesticides in Produce

Unless you're paying the extra money at the grocery store for organic produce, you are likely consuming a heavy dose of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides that can wreak havoc with your health. Plus, a link has been found recently between the use of pesticides and Parkinson's disease. But even without the link, all of these poisons are best kept off your plate.

Exploding Produce

And then there's the chemical forchlorfenuron that commercial farmers have been applying to grapes, kiwi and watermelons since 2004. The US Environmental Protection Agency permitted use of this chemical despite studies on animals that show use of this chemical in food can cause hair loss, a decrease in fertility and increased mortality rates.

This chemical causes growth at such an accelerated rate that watermelons in China actually exploded in the fields. Watermelons grown with this chemical will look fairly normal on the outside, but the flesh on the inside will be more white than red and the seed will be white instead of black. The fruit will be virtually tasteless besides. Who wants that?

So What Can You Do?

The answer is to learn gardening and start growing your own safe and healthy fruits and vegetables at home. If you have never gardened before, start small. If you are working full time and only have a couple of hours per week to devote to your garden, plant only a ten-foot by ten-foot garden. Then, as your confidence and skills increase, you can gradually expand your garden year after year.

Buy heirloom seeds so that you can save seeds from your best plants for the following spring. Also learn to can your own foods, so that you can put up enough food to last you through the winter. That way, you not only have great taste and save money, you are also preserving the health of you and your family for years to come.

What's New?

Got Something to Barter or Trade?

The bartering corner is where you can trade your homegrown products for items of equal value. find it here.

Looking for Goats Milk?

Find it at the Bartering corner by clicking here.

Brand New, How to Start?

One reader asks how to start pursuing self-sufficiency on two and a half acres. Read more here.

Herbal Hair Lightener

One reader shares her tips on making your own hair lightener. Read more.

Local Food Movement

A local food movement is growing in this country as people realize how healthy and delicious locally produced food can be. But learning to produce food and other products locally could also someday mean our very survival. Read more.

How to Cook Quinoa

How to cook Quinoa. If you're looking for a low-cost way to add a complete protein as well as plenty of other valuable nutrients to your diet, you can't go wrong with Quinoa. Read more.

Beginning Homesteading – Why You Don't Need to Wait Until you Purchase that Acreage

Interested in beginning homesteading, but feel you can't until you have that acreage? Here are ways to homestead anywhere. Read more.

Justa Mere Simple Life

After working like a crazy woman and not getting anywhere or anything but sick and tired and sad, I quit it all. Read more.

Eggs, Seasonal Produce, Herbs, etc. to Trade at the Bartering Corner

Fresh milk or dairy products. I would love to trade seeds if you have heirlooms that I do not have. Also would love to barter for fresh bread. Read more here.

We Cut our Water Bill by More than Half!

One reader shares how she is saving money and gives tips on how you can save money too. Read more.

Tomato Ketchup Recipe

Tomato ketchup recipe for a healthier condiment and to save money. I have been wanting to make tomato ketchup for a long time, but never wanted to sacrifice my homegrown tomatoes for the project. Fortunately, I found another way. Read more.

Compare Food Dehydrators

Compare food dehydrators before you buy them, and you'll save both money and frustration. Investing in a food dehydrator is a great idea for both saving money and being prepared. Read more

From Lawyer to Homesteader!

I was raised on a homestead farm as a child and excelled at school and later became an attorney. With the fall of the economy, I no longer had clients..Read more.

Growing Indoors?

A reader asks, is it possible to raise food indoors? Read more.

And as always, happy homesteading!

You Can Build a Chicken Tractor

If you’ve ever thought of keeping free range chickens in a chicken tractor, this book is for you! In addition to providing full plans and giving you step by step instructions on how to build your own chicken tractor, this handy guide gives tons of great tips, including great sources of free wood, how to recover your costs by selling chicks, chicken care and egg recipes. Click here to purchase.

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