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LOCAL News :: Environment & Food

Many Hands make "light" work!

In a few years, the price of oil will skyrocked. Oil is used in pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, fuel for farming machinery, and for transporting crops. An oil shortage will cause a food shortage. Heres how to get prepared! Achieve food independance by growing and storing your own organic food!
Many Hands make "light" work!

Ever since humanity discovered agriculture, farmers and gardeners have been growing organic food–for 10,000 years! Everyone, from kings to peasants, once ate healthy natural food. Unfortunately, this ended right after WW II. New and dangerous man-made chemicals created for warfare were adapted for civilian use as herbicides and pesticides.

Many people's food budgets are shrinking due to ever-increasing living expenses. Others are concerned about unknowingly buying genetically engineered (GE) food contaminated with traces of herbicides and pesticides. No laws require labeling GE "frankenfood" grown by distant, earth-destroying corporations that don't support our community.

Fortunately, we can fight back and make a Declaration of (food ) Independence! One way to do this is to meet with friends and neighbors and create a Many Hands Make "Light" Work garden. When we reclaim our birthright -the ability to provide ourselves with organic food, we become more self-sufficient. We also take back our power by diverting our grocery money from corporations that produce earth-destroying, pesticide-soaked GE food.

Many hands make "light" work in more ways than one! They make the work load light and spread the light of compassion and human decency—as we all help to feed each other! The light of Divine Oneness dwells in all of us in spite of living in a fast-paced violent culture fueled by the corporate media that defines us as consumer units instead of human beings.

Like Neo's MATRIX, the corporate media endlessly drones its hypnotic mantra which claims human nature is selfish and cruel. This lie creates prejudice and suspicion against "other" people-who also regard us as "other" people too ! The old tactic of divide and conquer makes us easier to control.

For example, many "reality" TV shows feature greedy contestants that exclude, attack and humiliate each other. However, if our tribal ancestors didn't help each other survive and if greed and cruelty was human nature, humanity would have been extinct lion food thousands of years ago!

Humanity's natural decency was proven by the tens of millions of dollars that Americans donated to the Red Cross after the Sept. 11 attacks to help people they didn't even know. Imagine how much easier it will be to grow and share organic food with neighbors and friends!

Ideally, Many Hands gardens are created and run without money using a barter system based on compassion. For example, a tray of sprouts or herbs grown by people with physical challenges may be traded for a generous-sized bag of potatoes grown by those able to do heavy labor. If a gardening group needs help with heavy physical work, neighbors, students or even non-violent offenders (who were required to do community service) can pitch in and be given a percent of the harvest as payment.

For possible sources of land and to determine if the parcel will remain undeveloped during the growing season, call the County Tax Assessors Office at 454-2002 to contact land owners. Regarding liability concerns, gardeners can sign legal waivers to protect the owners of the land.
Another source of land is the Santa Cruz Community Gardens Project. Plots can be rented for $35 a year for residents of the city of Santa Cruz and $42 for people living outside city limits. For information, call 420 5266. People who don't live in Santa Cruz can call their city's Parks and Recreation department to find out if there are community gardens in their area.

Each Many Hands garden is named and organized by the gardeners who work out the details among themselves. What kind of crops? How much land? etc. If a garden group is short on supplies, friends, neighbors or local businesses can be asked to donate lumber for raised beds, gopher wire, compost, seeds, etc. Friends and neighbors are repaid with organic food and businesses get positive publicity by displaying a “ WE DONATED TO THE MANY HANDS GARDEN PROJECT flyer.

Each gardening group may share the entire harvest to keep or barter for other crops with other Many Hands gardens. This can be done at farmer’s markets they organize. The Live Oak grange would be a great place for a farmer's market. Smaller groups could even meet in each others homes to trade the Mother Natures bounty.

For Many Hands gardens to thrive and barter, each group must be aware of all the others. Each group chooses a contact person who becomes a Hub linking each garden like spokes of a wheel. Hubs publish their garden's contact information by mail, word of mouth or buying an ad in their local paper (Comic News ads are only $99 per page). A web site could also be created with email addresses and other contact information and the web master paid with organic produce!
Ideally, gardens could be biking and walking distance from each other in case on line or mail communication is no longer possible after the decline of cheap oil.

As new gardening groups form, each Hub shares their garden's contact number (and useful gardening information) with all the other Hubs.

Imagine the thousands of acres in Santa Cruz wasted on emphy lots and lawns that could be used for growing TONS of healthy food. Visualize thousands of organic gardeners providing healthy food to end hunger in Santa Cruz County—and beyond! The sky’s the limit! Using the Hub-Spoke model, a Web of Life made up of organic gardens can grow and spread across the state and the nation!!

This information is specific to the Santa Cruz area but it can be copied and used anywhere. Imagine tens of thousands -or even millions of Many Hands gardens popping up like beautiful wild flowers all across the United States! Hundreds of Thousands of greenhouses could be built to grow food in northern climates.

Suppose theres no more power for referigerators? No problem! Check out "Root Cellering" by Mike and Nancy Bubel. All kinds of root cellars are described and many other ways to store food *in your apartment* if you dont have access to a yard! (back rooms, under stairways, closets etc. This book is wonderful and empowering and can show us how to achieve food independence!

Goethe said, "The moment one commits oneself, then the Providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision. Whatever you can do or dream, you can begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!"

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Re: Many Hands make "light" work!

I'd like to grow food but in Felton I can't afford the water because "environmental concerns" prevent me from tapping the river that's right across the street.

Save the fish, let the farmers starve?

Don't give me any crap about CalAm and RWE. All I want is to get my own water from the same source they get it from.

Re: Many Hands make "light" work!

"Everyone, from kings to peasants, once ate healthy natural food."

SO the average life expectancy must be plummeting, right?

Re: Many Hands make "light" work!

Great idea! A couple of weeks ago there was a great article with photographs posted on the newswire about Venezuela's urban gardens.

You are right -- we all have the right to food security and the use of unused land (without damaging the ecosystem).

Thanks for the great tips! I'll try to check out your book recommendation.


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