Guest Blog by: Brijette Romstedt
It all started with a little glass tea cup with adorable pink flowers etched on them. In this tea cup, I would store seeds delicately chosen from only the most outstanding plants in the garden. Those tea cups quickly overflowed. The excess was put in glass jars in the closet until that closet overflowed.
There are many limiting ideas floating around out there about growing your own food. Many think you need a lot of money to do it. Some think it’s too time consuming. Some think they don’t have enough space. Others feel that they just don’t have a green enough thumb. All of these ideas are totally understandable but the reality is that if we really truly want to, we can all grow some food. Sure, we can’t all have a fruitful acre of farm land but we can all have at least one little windowsill herb garden, one balcony tomato plant, some planters on our porch, a plot in a community garden, a small garden on someone else’s unused land, or something of that sort. With some initiative we can all grow some food!
I’m excited to announce that I’m cycling across the USA for the 3rd time. But what I’m really excited to announce is that YOU ARE INVITED. The first thing that might come to mind is “I couldn’t possibly keep up.” Well, great news for you, my partner, Cheryl Davies, is the co-host of this ride and she’s never rode more than 30 miles in a day. If she can do it, so can you!
When people talk about sustainable businesses the truth is that these businesses are far from sustainable. Most, if not all, of the major companies that have sustainability directors are as far from sustainable as it gets. They may be decreasing their environmental impact a little bit here and a little bit there but they just will never be sustainable. In this article I present to you businesses that are truly sustainable. These are businesses that will truly make your community and the world a better place. There is no green washing here and if these businesses are done correctly there will be no green washing in any of them. The idea of this blog isn’t just to inspire people to start sustainable businesses though. It’s really about helping people to figure out how they can support a sustainable life. None of these businesses are about getting rich. They are about finding a way to do something that you love and support your needs while living a life that is beneficial to the earth, your community, and yourself rather than destructive to the earth and the life on it. These business ideas, with a few exceptions, are designed to decrease consumption rather than increase it. For example selling organic cotton t-shirts is sort of great but the truth is there are already enough t-shirts on earth and we don’t need any more. These business ideas go a few steps further than a business idea like that.
23 million Americans live in “food deserts” or “food swamps”. That is about 1 in 14 Americans. A “food desert” is an area where there is no or very little access to truly healthy food. Typically if there is no grocery store within a mile in an urban area it is considered a food desert. There is however an abundance of junk food at corner stores and fast food restaurants. Because there isn’t actually a lack of food but rather an abundance of unhealthy, highly processed, low-nutrient food in these communities the term food desert is much less accurate than food swamp. These areas are a swamp of unhealthy food.
FOOD FOR ALL! Tour
May 30th – September 2016
Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia,
West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York
We believe that every American citizen not only deserves, but CAN eat a healthy, nutritious, and delicious diet. But we are aware that for many Americans there are barriers that stand in the way of this. 50 million Americans are food insecure. 23 million Americans live in food deserts. More than 45 million Americans receive financial assistance for food. Enough food is wasted to approximately feed another entire American population. A third of all Americans are obese. Nearly 10% of American have diabetes. Food corporations, lobbyists, and advertising misguide Americans who are trying to eat healthy, while putting profit over their customers’ health. Lastly, there is a plethora of social barriers for millions of Americans.
Check out this farm! They are completely off the grid, grow about 70% of their own food, send absolutely no trash off their land, and they grow over 200 edible and useful plants on their farm! Plus, they have chickens for eggs and meat, pigs and goats. They practice permaculture principles and are truly working with the land, rather than against it. You can walk around this farm for hours, always coming upon new naturally growing things to eat, or make healing teas from.
Freestyle Gardening is spreading food gardens all over the United States and making food free, the way it used to be: naturally from the Earth.
The mission is to make food simple, free, and growing everywhere – in the cities and the countryside, at our homes and in our schools, in vacant lots and on open rooftops, down the streets and up the walls. And once that fresh, healthy food is grown, we eat it! Freestyle gardening is free of boundaries, business, and budgets. Growing our own food and sharing with others puts the power back where it belongs, in our hands.