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The Future of Food and the Hula Hoop Effect

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 102

Gardening and the Hula Hoop Effect: Growing up in rural Illinois, having a garden was normal. Everyone had land, and everyone had a garden. Our garden was about 30'x 60'. To a boy of 12 years, it was enormous.

I remember growing corn, beans, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, kohlrabi, beets, radishes, onions, squash, and myriads of other vegetables. My Dad even had grapevines, full of sweet vineyard aromas in the heat of the day.

It was hard work--I'd push this hoe--I liked the one with the big metal wheel--all through the rows. Praying for rain meant I wouldn't have to drag out the hose.

Sometimes I thought it was a weed garden. Can there be no 'pest' that loves eating black nightshade? Enough complaining. I can hear my Grandpa saying.."If you don't have the time to do it right the first time, when are you gonna have time to fix it?" He had a way of creating ONE perspective.

I decided to spend more time tending the garden. I spent 20 minutes every day pulling weeds, and in the space of 3 weeks, the garden was beautiful. To my chagrin, it was also bountiful. I learned cause and effect. I was awarded a healthy sense of dignity for sticking it out, too. I love you Grandpa.

At one point I don't think we went to the grocery store for much. We had chickens and rabbits, fruit and vegetables. That's a pretty good feeling and an even better memory.

Now I'm 41 years old, and time has created a phenomenon--I call it the "Hula Hoop Effect". The reason for this name is because you have to work to make a Hula Hoop continue moving, just like I had to work to keep the garden so many years ago. Through my own doing, I'm mimicking my past to create my future.

I have a son now, and I we live in the San Francisco Bay Area--a far cry from the countryside of Illinois. But I still want to teach my son how I grew up, so I'm going to learn to garden--again.

As with so much else, I dove into the subject with simple notions. It is only now I've realized that I jumped right into the deep end. I've found Aquaponics.

Aquaponics isn't new, but its new to me. I'll overly explain it next:

Aquaponics is the marriage of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soilless growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in. The third participants are the microbes (nitrifying bacteria) and composting red worms that thrive in the growing media. They do the job of converting the ammonia from the fish waste first into nitrites, then into nitrates and the solids into type of compost that becomes food for the plants.

The beauty of this system for me is that very little water is needed. In fact, 98% less water than conventional gardening! I was shocked until I saw it in action. Coupled with the absence of weeding (soil isn't used), Aquaponics has become my new addiction.

My Crystal Ball: I have seen my future; a future I will create. My crystal ball sits between my ears, and my future is governed by that and forward momentum.

I see food prices rising. I see our planet getting crowded. I see clean water becoming even more of a commodity. I see the middle of the grocery store (read: packaged food) overshadowing the fresh isles. I see people getting fat and unhealthy. I see health issues from the plastic food they eat and I see the family unit crumbling as the dinner table becomes a place where anything but dinner sits. Call a spade a spade.

I'm creating a different future for my family. We'll grow our own food even though we live in a highly-populated area. We'll have lettuces, chard, scallions, basil, thyme, broccoli, and kale.

We may not be self-sustainable--I may not raise chickens--but my son will have a foundation he can sink his teeth into.

And somewhere down the line, he'll find his own Hula Hoop.

Comfort through Family. Remedy through Food.

The RecipeSolace Cookbook believes teaching your children the gift of cooking will enrich relationships and solidify bonds within our families.

Please visit and download the book now!

Source: EzineArticles
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