Thursday, February 21, 2019

Why Organic Gardening Is Really Worth the Effort

Once you have tasted something freshly picked from your own organic garden lesser vegetables will seem tasteless and weak.

Your food may not look perfect but that will be irrelevant once you taste the difference between this food and that grown using commercial criteria.

My own food gardening journey started after I decided it was up to me to change my immune system after a third concurrent breast cancer and believe me if I can garden anyone can.

After my last cancer treatment I required regular colonoscopies but after the last one the specialist merely said keep doing what you are doing. The state of my gut had changed so greatly.

I do think changing to growing and eating my own organic food played a large part in these changes in my body.

You can buy great organic food as well but let's be honest most of us cannot afford to do this all the time but we can put a pot on the balcony, a planter box in the yard or as I did buy an old house and begin the journey of creating a vegetable garden from resistant clay soil.

I went to lectures with local permaculturalists and also joined the local organic growers association and gradually built up my knowledge on how to add strength and good health to my soil.

I had watched my sisters in New Zealand always adding every food scrap to their gardens and feeding their children on strong, gutsy vegetables from small garden plots, so I knew soil could be nutured and feed families in simple, inexpensive ways.

I remembered my father bringing boot loads of kelp from New Zealand beaches and digging it into the soil where he planted our yearly crop of potatoes.

Now seaweed emulsion can be brought from good gardening stores and it really adds natural strength to your food.

It is a journey learning how to grow food especially through the heat, drought and cyclones that are part of our new climate but creating rich and life giving soil not only heals your body but it is part of creating a healthier planet.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Things Your Doctor Didn't Tell You About Breast Cancer

When you are diagnosed with breast cancer it is all about getting rid of the cancer.

This is good but it does not deal with the bigger picture. How do you make your body strong enough to stop the cancer returning.

This of course can be a hard ask as we all have lifestyles to maintain even with a cancer diagnosis and income and other practicalities do not change just because we are ill.

This morning I have just come in from watering the beautiful collection of organic fruit trees above I have planted myself, bananas, Indian guava, feijoa, mango, sandpaper creek fig, custard apple and pigeon peas.

Twenty seven years ago when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer I would never have imagined I would be doing anything like that. At that time I was a busy high school teacher with a new mortgage.

The realities of my lifestyle were difficult to deal with as I coped with treatment and the fear breast cancer aroused in others at that time.

It really took me two more breast cancers to begin to see the big picture which was my lifestyle, and to be fair to myself it was just not my lifestyle but the mindset in which I was living.

It is difficult to maintain one's health in an unhealthy world, so I decided I needed to change my ways.

This was eleven years ago and I am pleased to say, fingers crossed I am still cancer free.

So what did I do.

I began to remove as many chemicals from my life as I was able. This is a complex issue as our consumer world is so full of toxic chemicals and our body can deal with many. For some however we reach overload and this impacts our immune system.

I saw myself as one of those on overload so I checked out all the chemicals in my life and eliminated all I could.

I brought an old government house and made sure all surfaces were from `healthy' products which did not offgas.

I created a garden to give myself organic food.

The best thing about my new neighborhood which was so different from the trendy inner city suburb where I had lived is that people did live simply and compared with where I was before chemical free. They understood where I was coming from.

It was all a very different lifestyle and aspiration from my earlier years but it has renewed my body and brought a peace of mind I never had before.

I have made every effort to live in harmony with the natural world and to renew the soil on my land.

It has been rewarding and uplifting and definitely something my doctors never told me.