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5. Growing your own fruit and vegetables

If you have the space in your garden you should definitely grow your own. This way you don't need to be concerned about whether the organic certification is OK, you know it is because you grew it yourself.

By growing your own, you will be helping the world's environment. It will among other things:

  • Reduce the amount of fossil fuel that goes into ploughing fields, fertilizing with chemical fertilizers, harvesting, transporting, marketing in supermarkets and driving there to buy your produce.
  • You can grow your own without using pesticides.
  • You can fertilize using the left over plant material once you have harvested. If you are a real enthusiast, you can start using a dry (waterless) composting toilet and use the output to fertilize your garden. This is known to be medically safe, after all the Chinese have been able to maintain the fertility of their gardens for more than four millennia.
  • Install a water tank if you can and reduce your usage of town water supplies which are another hidden energy consuming process.

Permaculture

For the very advanced, you can embrace the concept of Permaculture where a self-contained system of agriculture is established. For example animals such as hens are fed on garden produce and waste with the chicken litter being used to fertilize the garden. For a complete explanation of this see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture. Many people have embraced this concept such as the grass farmers on New Zealand and the United States (Pollan 06).

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References:

(Pollan 06) Michael Pollan. An Omnivore's Dilemma. 2006 Bloomsbury.