This article is exactly why it has become my goal to try to grow all my own food. I don’t think I can quite get to 100%, but here is why I would prefer to grow anything fruit or vegetable related. I have seen lists like this before. The “Dirty Dozen” they are often called. In order to maximize harvests and profits, big Ag, farmers, whoever, load on the pesticides and herbicides.
Pesticides. Contamination. Carcinogens. Chemicals. What has been tested as harmful? Does the government regulate any of it? Their policy is “prove it is harmful” rather than “prove it is safe”. And so, we consume for years without even understanding any of the effects of these chemicals on our bodies, or on the developing bodies of children. People get upset if they find a hair in their food at a restaurant, and these chemicals are far worse! Where is the outrage??
Why am I talking about this? Because I saw the list in the article and realized I am either growing or have planted all but one of the items! I have been extremely busy in general this spring, but have been devoting a considerable amount of energy toward the homestead (and will be blogging about that later). I have also been wondering if I have been going over the top… planting too much… maybe a little excessive…? No way. There is no reason to believe any of this will change. It will probably get worse as small farms drop out of business and corporations look for every opportunity to increase the bottom line.
Here are the dirty dozen from the above article and what I am/have been doing for independence. Most of my fruit is just getting established this year, and so I will not harvest much now, if any. But in 1-4 years, they will be established and hopefully free from the market. The vegetables are all annuals and have been/will be harvested this year.
1. Strawberries – I have 75 plants growing (from Johnny’s Seeds); 25 early, 25 mid, 25 late-summer; harvest next year for 3-8 years
2. Apples – 2 Fuji (from Costco), 1 Goldrush (Gurney’s), 1 Granny Smith (Lowes) planted; harvest in a few years for life
3. Nectarines – no nectarines planted, but one Apricot! (Costco); harvest in a few years for life
4. Peaches – 1 peach tree planted (Costco); harvest in a few years for life
5. Celery – I grew celery last year, loved it, and so I have about 15 plants going for this spring/summer, and will start more for the late-summer/fall.
6. Grapes – I planted 2 red grape varieties, a blue concord type, 3 muscadine varieties last year, and have worked on training them; I just planted 2 white grapes (Cayuga from Gurney’s); possible harvest of the blue concord this year, the rest in a year or two. I am not sure the lifespan of grape vines actually…
7. Cherries – I just planted 2 dwarf bush cherry plants (Gurney’s); harvest in a few years for life
8. Spinach – standard in my garden
9. Tomatoes – just started transplanting in the garden; I will use them for sauces and salsa.
10. Sweet bell peppers – going in the garden this weekend.
11. Cherry tomatoes – going in the garden this weekend.
12. Cucumbers – going in the garden this weekend.
13. Potatoes? I have seen this on other lists and grow my own! I have 16# of seed potatoes in the garden right now.