Springtime has an interesting way of making farmers of city folk. Everywhere you look people are digging. Digging for tradition, “my father always grows tomatoes.” Digging for fun, “it’s so nice to be outside on sunny days.” And digging for health, “I only like vegetables in the summer when they come from a garden.”
It’s just that digging that introduces farmers and gardeners to the soil. The food you grow is only as good as the soil you grow it in. “Our food should be our medicine and we wouldn’t have to go to the doctor if we ate right,” said Will Allen, chief executive of Growing Power and the author of the recently published The Good Food Revolution (Gotham Books). Our health issues reflect many of the issues in food production: lack of nutrients, over-processed, empty calories. Very often our communities are similar: lack of opportunities, false friends, and posers.
The Good Food Revolution is about getting engaged: engaged in your health, your food, and your community. As you build your farm this spring, remember you need to feed your soil first so it can produce those lovely tomatoes and snappy green beans. Soil needs to have as much nutrient richness as you expect to get from your food. Grow your own compost from your kitchen and yard waste – like a good neighborhood, the more diversity of ingredients the more nutritious. And invite in the true miracle worker, the worm. Worms can clean up and invigorate the most challenging of soils and turn it into black gold. And while you’re at it, invite your neighbors to share in the work, the compost, and of course the fine fresh meals you will have in a few weeks. See, you are a Good Food Revolutionary! Can you dig it?
Lisa Rogers (she’s the one in the middle)
Feed Denver:Urban Farms & Markets