Why Garden?

April 2015

Why Garden? by Ron Woolsey of Phoenix Rising Garden

There are many reasons to produce your own food, but here is some new information you should consider. We all know we should take antibiotics only if necessary because it encourages bacteria to mutate into strains that can resist antibiotics. But meanwhile antibiotics are given to livestock often and in huge quantities because it increases body weight by 15%, thus giving the corporate-owned farms a 15% boost in profits.

Now, remember that the manure from livestock then goes to the fields of vegetables that you buy in the store. It turns out the antibiotic resistant bacteria is showing up in the supermarket. To view the whole shocking story, go to youtube.com and type in "Frontline The Trouble With Antibiotics.”

Some markets are taking notice of public concern. McDonalds recently announced they would no longer use chickens given antibiotics, but admitted that the ban would not apply to cattle. Speak out. Let your concerns be known.

So what can you do? Grow your own food (at least some of it)! You can get reliable results from several types of kale, which contains calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and is thought to help prevent cancer and coronary disease, limit cancer progression, and lower cholesterol.

Pick a spot with plenty of light, although later in the season when it gets hot you will also want some planted with semi shade through the noon hours. Loosen the soil with a pick or fork. If you can afford to, add potting soil, compost, or other organic amendments.

The reason I chose kale is that it is easy to grow and will thrive in most conditions. Go to your local nursery and buy a six-pack of small plants of each variety and plant in groups of 6 or more. Plants are social and respond to growing in clusters or communities.

Harvest the lowest leaves, always leaving 5 or more leaves on the plant. Remove the entire leaf and leaf stem all of the way to the main stalk. (Compost any yellowing or badly damaged leafs.) What you don’t eat, dry; it makes a great crunchy snack. There are many recipes to choose from.

May is a little late, but it’s still OK to plant now!
This article is offered by Phoenix Rising Garden, a model village garden

dedicated to inspiration and education – founded and supported by Ron Woolsey of Living Sculpture Studios. This garden has its own well water and donates vegetables to the food bank year round. Support and donations are greatly appreciated.
Free classes are on the first Saturday of every month from 11am to 3pm. Call to confirm schedule and location. Contact via Living Sculpture Studios/Facebook or 489-5408. The garden is located on the West side of North St between Redwood and Pine in Willits. Stop by.