Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gardening for self reliance

Lessons learned through revolutionary microfarming techniques in third world countries are also applicable to home gardens in the United States. Just as learning to grow a productive garden can improve the quality of life of the impoverished people of the earth, returning to basic agricultural practices can improve the quality of life of anyone, willing to put forth the effort.

One of the earliest proponents of the gardening revolution is Dr. Jacob Mittleider, world-renowned international agricultural consultant. Beginning in 1964, as a result of working with Lima Linda University in California, Dr. Mittleider developed the Mittleider Method of grow box gardening.

This early method of mixing hydroponics with grow boxes has evolved into a number of more recent iterations. The most popular of these is the "All New Square Foot Gardening" from the Square Foot Gardening Foundation.

It is debatable whether the organizations propounding the various gardening methods are more interested in the money to be made from the gardeners by selling books and supplies, or whether they are actually dedicated to improving home gardens.

Whether or not you subscribe to one (or more) of the popular types of gardens, it is the actual activity of planting and caring for your garden, not to mention the food, that creates the benefits. As stated by President Thomas S. Monson, “Guiding Principles of Personal and Family Welfare,” Ensign, Sept. 1986, 3: “Self-reliance is a product of our work and undergirds all other welfare practices. It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being.”

Quoting from the Provident Living Website, "Planting a garden, even a small one, allows for a greater degree of self-reliance. With the right information and a little practice, individuals and entire families can enjoy the many benefits of planting and tending a garden."

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