Organic Love: Shopping your Way to an Organic Lifestyle

Have you ever wondered why simpler lifestyles in the country or a rural setting has supported—or spawned—longer lives and healthier people? It’s because they live off the land and have better lives than us, despite the urban setting having statistically the best chance at modest living and because they usually have lesser problems stemming from […]

Have you ever wondered why simpler lifestyles in the country or a rural setting has supported—or spawned—longer lives and healthier people? It’s because they live off the land and have better lives than us, despite the urban setting having statistically the best chance at modest living and because they usually have lesser problems stemming from the modern life to think about.

Another added asset is they probably ate off the land too. Vegetables, leafy greens, and produce—animals and dairy—off the land is what they had. Here’s how you could emulate them too.

Local Staples

The best organic replacements for processed food come from your local farmers or, better yet, your own backyard. If you can’t afford the time to grow or cultivate your own food, you can start by buying local produce like free range eggs or chicken meat as well as farm-grown vegetables and fresh fruit. It’s a form of supporting farmers as well as creating a better diet for your body.

The Fine Print

The problem sometimes with people buying products is that they rarely read the labels—particularly the ingredients. Most of the products you buy on store shelves are made to last through the use of chemicals. If you’re shifting to organics, you should learn to read labels. Have someone with you that can read or have your reading glasses with you. If you probably don’t know some of the ingredients, then it’s not organic.

Weekend Market search

Most local farms sell their wares in weekend markets. These are often out of the way and mostly set-up in the outskirts. If you’re searching for organic food, though, your best bet in buying one would be to drive up to these markets. You shouldn’t mind the extra mile if you want your fill of locally-grown food; it’s your way of supporting these farmers and their lives, after all.

Talk to your Local Farmers

Farmers are anyone who grows or takes care of food that goes to your table. If you’ve got farmers living locally, you should go out of your way and talk to them. More often than not, they’re in weekend markets and, sometimes, have stores where they sell their wares near you. If not, their products might be at the shelves of your favorite store. You’ll never know until you manage to talk to them.

Cultivate your Own

It might require a lot of time on your part, but you should start growing something—anything—in your backyard. This is helpful if your work is particularly stressful. The joy of growing something, coupled with the thrill of harvesting your own food, can be a source of relaxation for most people.

There are different ways how you can start an organic lifestyle. In the process, you’re helping people; your local farmer is a prime example. You’ll also learn a lot about plants if you plan to grow your own garden. Either way, going organic gives you the benefits of a healthier life.

With the movement shifting towards more local, freshly-grown or cultivated produce landing on the table, it’s easy to give some love and awareness toward farmers. Healthy foods mean a more productive and longer life. By supporting organics, we also support the Earth that has given us so much.

Growing crops is to give back to both people and the Earth. However, farming is a serious life; there are many farmers that are barely making ends meet as it is. If you plan to support local farming, you should do it all the way. Here are ways on how you might do it.

Restaurants that support and use locally grown produce/Check

Restaurants always use fresh ingredients, but some of them go all the way. There are those that use locally grown vegetables and meat fresh from the farm, whether they source it from large- or small-scale farming operations. The Eat Well Guide as well as Diners’ Guide to Ethical Eating are only some of the guides you can look to if you want to know which ones support local farmers. Alternatively, you can call restaurants to inquire whether they support local produce or not.

Pay attention to ALL your food/Check

Farmers grow crops and there are some popular food choices that always get the nod; asparagus, tomatoes, and wheat are only some of the crops that always feature. Humble pie crops like beans and mustard seeds don’t always get the nod, but rotation is required to always make the soil healthy and high-yield. Learn to eat those crops as well if you plan to support farmers all the way.

Eat rare/Check

Rare here doesn’t mean a rare steak. What it means is to search for food which is considered native to your area. These are known as ‘heritage breeds’ and they differ from place to place, but are considered cheaper to race. If you want to plan a diet, include more of these local varieties than food that grows in other places. Doing so supports farmers whose budgets are mostly restricted they only have space for local produce.

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Include fresh harvest in your menus/Check

This might be too much work, but it’s required if you want to make a difference in supporting your local farmers. As the seasons change, learn to shift your diet into seasonal crops to maximize buying local produce. For example, shift colder month crops like kale or beet greens when you cook pesto. If you want to create pasta for summer, substitute peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes.

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Volunteerism/Check

The biggest support that you can give, though, is to volunteer your time to local farms. A local farm near you might need extra hands to support a large variety of tasks. Use your time wisely and you’ll find that you can grow your own food.

Perhaps the way to healthier, more affordable food is to go back to the basics. Farms are always in need of help; be aware of what is happening in your community and lend a hand or two. Doing this will go a long way in supporting local farms.

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Small Farm, Home Farm: Tips on Starting your own Backyard Farm

Maybe you’ve begun to take a liking to eating fresh plants and fruit you’ve grown yourself or you’ve started thinking about getting the best food for your family. Whatever your reason, starting your own backyard farm is not an easy task. Completely different from organic gardening, this requires a different type of learning and adaptation. […]

Maybe you’ve begun to take a liking to eating fresh plants and fruit you’ve grown yourself or you’ve started thinking about getting the best food for your family. Whatever your reason, starting your own backyard farm is not an easy task. Completely different from organic gardening, this requires a different type of learning and adaptation.

It can be an idea if you have a wide area in your home, but it’s something you should be prepared for if you decide to begin it.

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Study Farming/ Farming should be studied. That’s correct, because you don’t only raise plants and vegetables here—if you decide to go all the way, you’ll be dealing with dairy and poultry. The good thing is that there are a number of books on the subject you can buy or topics you can search for on the Internet. Whatever your source, you should study.

Choose your kind of Farm/ Your kind of farm falls into this category. If you’re looking to support your family by presenting fresh meals, you’ll be good with a hobby farm. Small farming businesses and homesteads do sometimes blur into the other. If you’re looking to start a small farm to support your family or the community, the latter two are great ideas.

Quick Start plants/ If you want the feeling of success, then you should choose plants according to your climate and ones that are easy to grow. Pick radishes for being a relatively stubborn grower. You should also realize root crops are pretty easy to grow. However, planting plants that you and your family will eat are more important than planting them for how easy they are to cultivate.

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Go Wild/ Don’t be afraid to experiment with a lot of plants you can grow in your garden! Variety is the spice of life and you should enable your garden to be as diverse and as different as possible. Aside from the colors and vibe they bring, they also give a substantial benefit to the soil; diverse plants promote a healthy ecosystem and is also a natural pest deterrent.

[Optional] Give Back to the Community/ Maybe your garden has started to become a full-fledged operation; maybe your crops are too irresistible to keep within only your family. Once you have this sort of arrangement, consider joining weekend farmer’s markets. You’re not only getting profit, you’re also promoting a healthier choice of food for people.

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Starting a farm is one of the most basic ideas people can have when thinking of feeding their family. It’s also a great way of making sure your money remains with you and you leave the problem of feeding expensive food to your family behind.

As the saying goes, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Health advocates will always tell you to get in your required vegetables and fruits for the day. The problem is when you simply cannot because the grocer that sells it is simply out of the way.

There are a lot of alternatives, sure, but it’s better if you grow these fruits and vegetables on your own. If not, here’s what you can do to get your fill.

Farmer’s Markets

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Farmer’s markets are your best bet at getting fresh vegetables and fruits as if you’ve picked them from the tree. Aside from that, you’re also getting the benefit of helping a farmer’s family have food on their table. The prices are also significantly lower as well as healthier.

Ask your Friends

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There are a lot of times your friends are good for asking something; this might be one of them. If you have no idea where to buy cheaper and fresher vegetables, ask your friends, they might know something that you don’t.

Be a Farmer

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Designed by Freepik

Sometimes, the richer small farming communities have a scheme where you can volunteer your time and help in the harvest. Instead of asking for pay or anything, you can alternatively ask them if they’d pay you in produce. This is one way you can get your vegetables and fruits for free.

Start your own Home Farm

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Even better, you can start your own organic garden! The small home farm craze is currently beginning to sweep the nation. It’s also a better alternative to creating gardens that are purely ornamental. Consult a book or read sources from the Internet to know how to properly start your home farm.

There are still a lot of ideas or places where you can get your fill of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you haven’t started yet, there’s no better time than now to get initiated on eating healthy.

What’s better than eating healthy food? That’s eating healthy food you’ve grown.

City folks have it all wrong, so says our rural brothers. Whereas we’re planning gardens and having those landscaped, rural folks know how to landscape them and plan them to live. They have gardens where they grow farm produce instead of plants only used for decoration and looking pretty.

That’s the start of farm life for you. If you want to experience it even in the urban life you have, then you should try these tips out.

Prepare to Get Dirty

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Gardening is dirt; gardening is when you get your hands dirty. It’s when you dig deep into the soil. You should pay attention to the soil, as it is what you use to grow your plants. It should be healthy and rich with nutrients in order to get the most out of your crops. You should also avoid using chemical products on it; it takes away from the idea of the organic nature of things.

Create your own Fertilizer

If you’re not encouraged to use your own fertilizer, you’re going to have to create your own. One way of doing this is by composting. It’s a term most commonly heard from people who cultivate their own food and is usually a good way of keeping your soil healthy. When you create compost, you also help the environment; it’s usually made of left-over food, dead leaves, and organic garbage, so you get to recycle instead of throwing stuff away.

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is a way of preserving or bringing back the health of your soil. Most local farmers use it to keep their soil’s nutrients replenished. It’s a simple chore; you usually plant something else instead of the crop that was harvested. When you’ve previously planted beets, the next time, you plant something like beans instead of the same crop. It keeps nutrients and refreshes the soil.

Combine Organic soil with Mulch

If you’re new to gardening, you’re going to have to invest in mulch and organic soil. Compost is what makes up the majority of organic soil; meanwhile, mulch is created by mixing organic soil with dead husks and straw without weed. This will help with two things—one, it prevents weed from sprouting, and two, it prevents fungi from the soil from transferring to your plants.

Keep your Garden Clean

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Cleaning your garden isn’t only for aesthetic purposes; it’s to remove plants that are long dead and use the soil for other plants. Always remember to dig up the soil too. You never know whether a diseased root or fungal matter is building up under all that dirt.

Remember to love your plants and always visit your garden! This way, you’ll be able to root out problems among your crops before they even start.

There once was a time when organic gardening got you labeled as someone who loved the environment too much or someone who was too health conscious. Being one of those two became a trend these days and everybody wanted to try out creating their own organic garden. Now, you can too, and reap the benefits of using your gardening soil for something better.

Before you start looking for the easiest crops to start growing, however, you need to understand how to start one properly.

Make the Soil your Target

One of the first mistakes of people who aim to own a garden—organic or otherwise—is paying too much attention on the plant. They begin buying plants without realizing that the soil needs checking or has to be healthy. The plants are fine; they can grow in the soil only if you make the soil healthier to support life. It is important for the soil to be checked first for nutrients.

Add in Compost

Compost is material made from mixing soil with organic waste. This means leftover fruits and vegetables that had gone to spoil are good stuff to mix into compost. There can be other stuff, but these are first and foremost what gardeners should go after. If you want to create a healthy mix of compost, the clue is to mix in dead stuff from plants.

The Right Plants to…plant

Creating a garden isn’t just picking plants and planting them into the soil. You soil can be healthy all you want, but if you plant something that doesn’t simply like the weather conditions in your area, it won’t grow no matter how green your thumb is. Remember to plant accordingly; some vegetables thrive in colder conditions while some like warmer climates. This leads to a high yield.

Choose to go completely Organic

If you start a garden, you’re going to be relying heavily on pesticides and plant ‘food’ that have been mixed in with chemicals. The very same plants in your garden that grow in the wild don’t need to rely on that kind of stuff. You should remember that, in organic gardening, it’s either you go completely organic or you don’t start a garden at all.

Choose your Vegetables

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The final—and most important—part of organic gardening is to choose which vegetables or plant-bearing plants you’ll cultivate. You may choose carrots, squash, tomatoes, and cucumbers. But just like growing them according to weather, you grow them according to the appetite your family has. Whatever your diet, though, there’s a different kind of rush eating food you’ve grown yourself.

We are all a product of what we eat and, if we eat what we’ve grown with love, then we’re all the better for it. Consider starting an organic garden to experience a different kind of accomplishment.

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