Growing our own food is something that is not new to human civilization. People have grown their own food for hundreds and thousands of years. It hasn't been until the past 100 to 200 years that we've put that responsibility in the hands of others and the industrialized food system.
I believe that this is one of the reasons for the health and obesity crisis that our country is currently facing. We have come to accept "food" as things that come out of boxes and packages. This "food" is stripped of nutrition and contaminated with chemical sprays.
Over the past few years, I've become more conscious and aware of our food choices. I now look deeper into them and can see why they matter, not only to my our own personal health, but to the health of our planet too.
It's apparent that we have become disconnected from our food source. We now pick our food off of store shelves instead of from the earth.
This is one of the main reason why I started urban gardening and growing my own food to re-establish that connection with my food. You can do this, too.
I didn't have any experience when I first started in the spring in 2009. During that time I was living in one of the least food growing friendly place in the world - New York City. That didn't stop me though. As I was able to grow on the fire escape on the fourth floor of my apartment building. Since that time, I've moved to Los Angeles where I now have a balcony garden.
Despite only having access to these small spaces, I've been able to grow fresh, organically grown produce for myself. Since I've started, I feel much more connected to my food because it's the result of my labor. Plus, it's much fresher as it gets eaten within minutes of being picked. It doesn't get any better than that.
When you grow your own food, you gain more of an appreciation of it because it's not always easy. We are very fortunate to live in a time where if we can't grow our own or our crop doesn't survive, we can go to the local store to pick some up.
By no means do I think that everyone should go out and start growing all of their own food. That would be ridiculous, but I definitely think that growing at least one veggie or herb will start to make a difference in your relationship with food.
What are you going to start growing?