Why This Guide is So Important
There is a growing Earth-friendly revolution taking hold: the desire to have more choice and control in the foods we consume. Food gardening at home, or in a community plot, is part of a broad shift in consciousness that focuses on wellness, nutrition and self-sufficiency. Personal or community food security allows households to provide more of their food needs and/or to share their harvest with others in need.
Home food gardening reacquaints us with optimally fresh, tasty and nutritious fruits and vegetables costing a fraction of store-bought produce that is often shipped long distances. It teaches children that fruits and vegetables come from the earth, not grown in grocery stores. It inspires us to be healthwise: to remember that we are what we eat. Importantly, food gardening can save us hundreds of dollars a year in food expenses.
The Old Model
Food policy today is primarily based on creating a dependent consumer whose needs are determined by government, large corporations, agribusinesses, politics, and media marketing. As a result, home food production and preservation in the U.S. has declined from 35% of households in 1870 to only 1% in 2005. Additionally (and in spite of scientific advances), people suffer from diminished health and healthcare, poor air, water and soil quality, and overprocessed, nutrient-poor foods.
Perhaps most detrimental to individuals is the loss of a heartfelt and informed connection to this Earth: its soil, water, air, habitat and species. Earth s natural resources are too often associated with commodities. As a result, people forget to live simply so that others, and this Earth, may simply live. They misplace the spirit of stewardship and generosity.
The New Model
The basic foundation of a new food policy restores informed choice as a prosumer: one who is empowered in their lifestyle habits and needs to be part of a broader solution to respect Earth s resources, to live within one s means, to commit to personal wellness, and to help others in need. It also brings the focus of food sufficiency to the local level: one s household, neighborhood and community. It supports local/regional family-based agriculture. Most importantly, a new food policy model restores personal confidence in knowing that we have a voice - personally, locally, nationally - in the well-being of our lives, the lives of others, and this Earth and all its resources and species.
This Book: One Small Step
It is our commitment, indeed, our hope, that this low-cost guide supports those initial steps to the jouney of a lifetime: not only to know the joy of co-creating with Nature, but to experience a new level of responsibility for your own health, nutritional, and food security needs. By caring for the Earth, may you be inspired to follow the way of the hummingbird: To sip the nectar without bruising the flower. --Dr. C. Forrest McDowell and Tricia Clark-McDowell, authors
Professional garden and wellness educators, Dr. C. Forrest McDowell and Tricia Clark-McDowell have over 25 years of experience in their own 2-acre garden at their 22-acre Cortesia Sanctuary in Eugene, Oregon. Their 32-page Home Composting Made Easy
(Cortesia Press) is the world's most popular guide for the home gardener, with over 1,000,000 copies in print. It is used by hundreds of governmental agencies, organizations and businesses throughout North America.