Getting a Little Off Topic Here…

This is one of those non-sensical stream of consciousness posts!

Did you ever get in a panic about your food?  What’s in it?  Where does it come from?  Who makes it?  How processed is it?  What’s not on the label?  Pesticides?  Antibiotics?  I’ve been investigating and experimenting with my diet off and on since I was diagnosed with RA, and how our food gets to our table has been an interest of mine for a while.  If you want to know the dirty truth about the food industry, check out the movie Food Inc.  Be prepared to want to change your diet after watching it!

Did you ever notice how much of our produce comes from other countries, thousands of miles away?  What do they do to get it to my supermarket looking so good?  I’ve become a big believer in buying local as much as possible (we buy our beef from a local farmer and some produce from a local organic farm).  I garden, although I wish I could garden more.  Colorado has a terrible climate and terrible soil to try to grow anything edible.  Still, I try. This year, I’ve got kale, collard greens, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, strawberries, watermelon, zucchini, and several herbs growing.

Our home, which we purchased new 10 years ago, sits on an old farm, and we have farmland currently on 2 sides of our house.  Little did we know that the cropduster would be buzzing 10 feet from our house, dumping chemicals that make us all wheeze at 5:00 AM all summer.  It took 6 years before we saw a single worm in our yard, and we’ve worked hard to get our soil healthy.  What on earth do the farmers do to the soil to make all the worms go away?  Aren’t worms supposed to be good for plants?

I compost.  It hadn’t been going well.  I am lazy about turning it.  Last fall, I started worm composting.  That’s gone great!  I keep 2 bins of worms in my garage, and they eat leftover fruit and veggie scraps.  This year is the first I’ve used their poop for fertilizer, and my plants seem quite pleased thus far.

May, 2013 Worms and Worm Poo Fertilizer!

Since this diet has become so good for me, I am becoming more alarmed about the lack of access to good quality food.  It’s hard to find.  I have to go to 3 stores to complete our week’s needs, and I still can’t find some things, like chicken and pork products that are local and not so processed.

Last summer, I started reading about aquaponics.  Ever hear of it?  No, it’s not hydroponics.  Aquaponics is basically a closed food system with fish and plants.  You have 2 tanks.  You keep water and fish in one tank.  You feed the fish, and the fish poop.  You flood the water out of the fish tank, through the tank holding the plants and gravel (no soil… yes, it really works).  The fish poo breaks down, feeding the plants and cleaning the water in the process.  The clean water goes back to the fish.  I’ve seen some great youtube videos on it (just search for “aquaponics” on youtube).

Ok, so now that you’re understanding I’m nuts, have a great day!

 

 

2 thoughts on “Getting a Little Off Topic Here…

  1. Thanks for sharing how you compost and aquaponics. I don’t use worms in my compost yet but the thought of poo used for fertilizer still grosses me out a bit. I don’t use manure either though I know plants would love it. I just have to settle for smaller plants. Did you try the aquaponics? How did it go? I agree with you entirely about the price of good quality food. I coupon and since not buying food with preservatives /getting back to organic milk, my grocery bill went up$200. Crazy and sad that healthier food is so expensive. Hopefully my garden does well this year :)

  2. The worm composting is still going great. It doesn’t smell bad at all…. smells like good wholesome earth. I think this helps with the gross factor.

    The aquaponics… ugh. My fish died after 6 days! My plants lived about 3 weeks, then died without the fish, but at the time I didn’t want to take it apart and kill the plants. I need to restart it, but leaving it for a summer project.

    I did got take a tour of Growhaus (http://www.thegrowhaus.com/) where they are doing aquaponics on a much larger scale, as in 1500 gallons for fish (larger is better, it takes a bigger shock to the system to make things go funky, where my small 3 gallon tank is really at risk with any small problem).

    I need to start my summer garden soon. I had really good luck with greens last year (collard greens, chard, and kale). I think I’ll go that route again this year! Groceries are much more expensive in our house than they used to be, but I’d rather spend my money on food than meds, so I guess that’s my trade-off in my head. Let me know how your garden does!

    Lori

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