The Muse News

| August 2, 2015 | 0 Comments
Organic gardening can provide an array of healthy and tasty flavors.

Organic gardening can provide an array of healthy and tasty flavors.

As I write to you this issue from my 12-acre farm in Byron Bay, Australia, I am inspired to share the goodness of grow-your-own, weekly farmers markets and the great joy of living off the land. Proclaimed green thumb, or not, there has never been a better time than now to embrace the art of organic, edible gardening, whether city spun or country fun. Perhaps it is initiated by health, an honest fad to farm, or just a fun new foodie experience, turning your own bit of soil into seasonal sustenance is a sure win.

Just like the profound sentiment of Oliver Wendell Douglas of the 60’s best loved TV series, “Green Acres,” farm living truly does seem to be the place to be these days…even in the city.

If you haven’t noticed already, many neighborhood homes are exchanging their lawns and flower beds for mini farm plots complete with raised beds, assorted fruit trees and seasonal crops, all in a row. Simply put, folks are realizing the many benefits that come with grow your own and are capitalizing on the reality that you can farm, without one.

With sustainability, organic, non GMO and farm-to-table being just a few of the many new buzzwords, many are learning that with a little farm-style effort they can enjoy “free” organically grown food, which also equates to a measure of financial food freedom, not to mention health. Yet it goes much further than economizing in the psyche and heart of a true farmer. If you have never experienced the satisfaction of initiating the age old cycle of seed to dirt, add water and sun to grow, then pick, eat and enjoy, then you have missed a fundamental reward ritual. Just try it once, you’ll be hooked!

Gardening for beauty, although visually enjoyable, becomes very one dimensional, compared to gardening as farming which not only taps into our primeval roots as hunters and gatherers, but takes on a three-dimensional experience as we reap, and eat what we sewed.

No farm? No problem. For those of you with very little or no plot of soil, there are many nifty ways to farm creatively. Spatially challenged farmers know vertical gardens are all the rage and so easy to implement. Try a trellis to enhance your growing space. Many plants including tomatoes and strawberries actually thrive growing down with gravity, instead of up. Be it wooden boxes nailed to walls and fences, window or roof top boxes, or plastic planters suspended on strings and swinging from ceilings, dirt can catch water and sun in many ways.

No plot! Got pots? Every variety of edible tree or plant can thrive in a pot. Personally, I have an amazing Meyer lemon tree which lives in a 20 gallon ceramic pot and provides me over 100 lemons annually. Talk about abundant harvest, I have so many I gift them to delighted friends, or I squeeze and freeze for year-round use. Herb-filled pots are fun too, scented and decorative when placed in kitchens by a sunny window spot and offer cuisine cuttings on hand.

Freshness counts too. Your own organic edible garden will not only delight and satisfy, it will truly punctuate the ideas of locally grown and in season. Well you can’t get more local than your own doorstep! Just see how fresh (and for how long) your own harvest lasts when it is truly farm (your backyard) to table.

And if we haven’t had enough of the fantastic “F” words yet, with food, farm, fresh, and fun – let’s now explore FLAVOR! Remember when you could taste the sunshine in your fruits and veggies? When a lettuce leaf burst with zest and wasn’t tasteless. When the sweetness of a blueberry wasn’t a taste bud blur. Too often when we buy mass-produced produce, we find that it lacks flavor, not to mention freshness.

So as the summer gets into full swing, and there is still ample time for a fall harvest, I hope I have inspired you to take edible organic opportunities into your own dirt-filled hands. Not only will you know you are eating wisely and authentically, but I believe you will find the soul of a frustrated farmer inside you. Embrace farm living as a lifestyle, discovering new found ways to take your outdoor area; whether urban or agricultural, no matter what size or shape, and cultivate it with cool crop-style creativity.

Seeds sewn or seedlings selected, just add water and a smattering of sun, and you will have started to hoe the road to your own little plot of produce paradise. This is sure to be one experience you will not only enjoy, but you will eat. For more paddock to plate “eatspiration” take a peek at the website of one of my local farm idols down under, (and just down the road from me): thefarmbyronbay.com.au.

Concetta Antico is mother, wife, Tetrachromat, fine artist, instructor, writer and creative muse. Her stunning Tetrachromatic oil on canvas masterpieces reveal her brilliance and super vision and may be viewed at www.ConcettaAntico.com. “Live Artfully” is a trademark of Concetta Antico and Zenava Inc. Her Salon & Gallery are located at 1920 Fort Stockton Drive, Suite A, Mission Hills, San Diego and are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and by appointment. Concetta welcomes your creative thoughts, comments and ideas at Muse@ConcettaAntico.com.

Category: Health & Fitness, Life Style

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