Eat what you grow (if you can grow what you eat)

July 12th, 2010

I will admit that when it comes to gardening or other agricultural pursuits, I was clearly not born with a green thumb. I hate gardening, but I love to eat. If you give me a flourishing plant and tell me to replant it and take care of it, I am almost positive that it will die.

If it doesn’t die from lack of care, it will certainly die from too much care. What is too much care you might ask? Well, my idea of too much care refers to the fact that I tend to overdo things, and that includes the watering of plants. On the other hand I might just forget about the plant all together and then it does not get any water at all. Either way, the plant suffers.

Therefore, I wonder if the concept of grow what you eat and eat what you grow applies to people like me. I believe that if this concept became law, I would surely die of starvation.  Yes, believe me, it is that bad.

However, things would probably be a little bit clearer to me, and persons like me, if the Government of Jamaica could have classes/seminars to instruct individuals on the basics of growing their own food. I would not be against any idea that teaches me how to feed myself. If you love our local produce as much as I do, I suspect you would be willing to learn too.

This is just one initiative that I think the Government could explore. What are your ideas? How do you think the Government could popularize the concept of “eat what you grow and grow what you eat”? Have your say…


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21 Responses to “Eat what you grow (if you can grow what you eat)”

  1. Ras Howard Henry says:

    HAVE YOU NOTICE HOW OLD TIME PEOPLE USE TO LIVE LONG BEFORE JAMAICANS GOT SO CAUGHT UP IN THIS IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN FOOD FROM OVERSEAS?,ITS BECAUSE THEY USE TO EAT THE FOOD THEY GROW,

    HAVE YOU NOTICE HOW OLD PEOPLE USED TO NOT VISIT THE DOCTORS ON A REGULAR BASIS AND MOST DOCTORS HAD TO GO TO FOREIGN COUNTRY TO WORK ON THEIR CAREERS?,IT BECAUSE THEY USE TO EAT THE FOOD THAT THEY GROW,

    HAVE YOU NOTICE HOW OLD PEOPLE NEVER USE TO HAVE NO OVERWEIGHT PROBLEMS?IT’S BECAUSE THEY USE TO EAT THE FOOD THAT THEY GROW?

    HAVE YOU NOTICE THERE IS NO MORE MARKET TRUCKS COMING FROM DUNG A COUNTRY TO THE MARKETS IN KINGSTON?IT’S BECAUSE THE JAMAICAN PEOPLE STOP SUPPORTING THE REAL FOOD THAT THEIR FARMERS GROW AND NOW CLINGING TO HARMONES SHIT SHIPPING TO THE ISLAND FROM ABROAD.

    HAVE YOU NOTICE HOW THE JAMAICAN PEOPLE ARE NOW GETTING VERY SICK AND DOCTOR CANNOT FIND LOTS OF THEIR COMPLAINS,GETTING SO OVERWEIGHT
    LOOKING LIKE SIXTY YEARS OF AGE WHEN JUST REACH TWENTY?IT’S BECAUSE OF THE FOREIGN DOPE UP THAT THEY ARE EATING.

    RAS HOWARD HENRY
    AKA RAGGA

  2. JohnDoe says:

    Good Ideas.. Government needs to keep these ideas before people all the time.

    More Support needed for RADA officer accross Jamaica.

    the Ministry also needs to help(not force) Farmers to learn more about deciding what grow based on available markets and avoiding gluts

    BTW Petagaye, Get a good gardening book it will help you.

  3. Devil's Advocate says:

    We shouldn’t have to rely on Government to initiate this. Individuals just have to be conscious and take responsibility, and harmonize with nature. Get together with some neighbors and start a small vegetable plot.

    It doesn’t take rocket science to plant/tend a vegetable garden. For me, it is such a joy to reap from my garden and share with my friends. Even if you’re short of land space, there are lots of short-term crop that you can plant in pots.

    You’ll eat right and save money.

  4. andrea says:

    If you have a backyard use a spot to grow vegetables, spices, fruit trees etc.
    You may not be into gardening as some of us find it messy,but you can use the services of a friend or someone who loves gardening to do it for you. Times are hard so whatever we can do to make life easier then we must try to do it. Andrea

  5. Karlene says:

    Eating what you grow is one the best things ever.. however don’t depend on the gov’t to do everything .. a lot of advice and information is on the internet and if it is used properly we can reap not just a little but a lot. Jamaica has one of the richest soil and climate and should be reaping success in exportation all over the world. There is no limit to anyone planting their food as whether you have a large piece of land or just a balcony you can plant your veggies in a nice hanging pot.

  6. pan says:

    I SAY SO TOO, YOU DO LIVE HEALTHY AND LONGER WHEN YOU EAT YOUR OWN GROWN FOOD, CAUSE IT IS YOU WHO WATCHING IT GROW ALL THE WHILE, WHEN THE MIND IS FILLED WITH SOMETING HEALTHY, YOUR BODY IS CLEAN OF THINGS WE SHOULDN’T BE EATING, ALL THE THINGS WE SHOULDN’T BE EATING, WE EATING IT. WELL NOT ME I STOP DAT LONG TIME AGO, ALL THAT OIL AND BLOOD FROM THE GOAT, PIG, COW AND ALL THINGS THAT HAVE A COUL TO LIVE LIKE WE, IS VERY SICKENING TO THE BODY. MAYBE PEOPLE DONT REALLY CARE TO LIVE HEALTHY LIFE, AS LONG AS THE DOCTOR DEH BOUT…IN ENGLAND AND USA THE FOOD TRADE KILLING OFF THE YOUNG PEOPLE DEM, IT HAS BEEN PROVEN THAT WHEN YOU GROW YOUR OWN THINGS IT MEK U LIVE LONGER. SO BUY HOME GROWN FOOD AND YOU WON’T HAVE TO GET YOUR BELLY CUT AWAY BECAUSE OF ALL THAT PAIN….

  7. pan says:

    YES, YES, YES GET ENOUGH PEOPLE TOGETHER AND FORM GROUP OF 6 FOR EACH PARISH AND GET EVERYONE TO SIGN A PETITION WITH THEIR NAME AND ADDRESS, TELLING THE JA GOV TO SUPPLY TOOLS AND SEEDS TO EACH FAMILY IN ORDER TO GIVE THEM A HEAD START IN GROWING THEIR OWN FOOD, THAT WILL SURELY GIVE THE YOUNG PEOPLE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THEMSELVES, TEACH GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD IN SCHOOL TOO.BETTER STILL, ANYONE WHO KNOW ABOUT GROWING FOOD SHOULD BECOME THEIR OWN TEACHER AND FORM THEIR OWN CLASSROOM IN EACH TOWN.

  8. pan says:

    HI MR RAS HOWARD HENRY, ARE YOU OR YOUR PEOPLE FR ST.ANN? I NOTICE YOU HAVE TWO SURNAME, HOWARD ARE FR ST ELIZ. CHECK IT OUT!!!!!!!MAYBE THERE WAS A MR HOWARD AND A MISS HENRY WHO KNOW!

  9. LuceaBoy says:

    I would love to be able to eat what I grow and grow what I eat but there is absolutely no space where I live to do of such where I live. When I was in the country I used to find it pleasurable to grow all that I liked.

    Now I only live an illusion not been able to do what I like, because there is inadequate space to plant what I want. This philosophy could pull us out of the doldrums and advance our cause as a sovereign nation. We could benefit tremendously from this venture. Without a doubt we can make a lot of in rows in helping the dollar from sliding by utilizing our local produce for our domestic benefit.

  10. Ras Howard Henry says:

    WELL ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE INA THE BLENDER TING,ANYWAY IM FROM A PLACE NAME MOUNT SALUS UP IN THE ST.ANDREW REGION AJOINING TO MANNINGS HILL,BUT AS LONG AS ONE IS A HUMAN BEING AND NOT ONE A those aliens THAT LOOKS LIKE BUT IS NOT THEN YOU KNOW INI MUST BE RELATED,ONLY THE sons of god of whom i term as the aliens im not related to.

    And the sons of god came and took unto themselves the daughters of men plural man for their wives,Those daughters are the family members of real human beings original earthlings,scan and see if you can overs what im saying here..

    RAS HOWARD HENRY
    AKA RAGGA

  11. Winston Williams 1 says:

    Di Govament? The major draw-back for Jamaicans is that we expect too much from “di govament”.We who grew up in the country would merely laugh at someone who says he or she doesn’t know how to grow what you eat. But we sympathise with you city slickers. Anyway, please get together with your neighbors and start a gardening group and help one another with what you all know. It takes community to build lasting community, not “di govament”.

  12. karl tingling says:

    I am in London England and as a country boy from westmoreland coming to the uk I am well aware of the many benefits of growing and eating fresh untreated foods,5 minutes ago I was sat in my very little garden space eating fresh sweet peas straight out the pod thats after visiting some elderly neighbours with some ripe english cherries freshly picked this morning from my 30 year old tree that was after watering my runner beans,onions,garlic and potatoes (I can’t get sweet potatoes or yam to grow so I purchase fair trade jamaican yam,green banana and sweet potatoes.Not only is home grown produce good for you, they have so much flavour, sweeter so worth the effort.Karl Tingling.

  13. karl tingling says:

    Oh! I forgot to mention because my garden space is only 7 yards long and 7 yards wide and living in a built up area like london its not just space thats limited but light too as you have to remember I am in a concrete jungle I recycle all my waste vegetable matter and I am just going out to buy some seeds so I can plant some summer salads things like lettuce,water cress and i am going to put them in a sunny spot in a bag of peat made from my re-cycled compost,where there is a will there is a way.

  14. johndoe says:

    I wondering though, when are we seriously going to embrace more serious transformation of the agricultural sector?

    Minister Tufton, to be honest appears to be make and effort to get more persons involved but what about the transformation on how we do things?

  15. Jabulani Urhobo says:

    My mother live in the eastern end of the island, she is 80 years old, very mobile and she is still growing fruits and vegatables.

    The problem is the tief dem in the district. Predial larceny is killing her. Dem just march in dung de gully, cut the plantain, pick the breadfruit, dig the yam, anything them feel like and bag it up and then walk past her on the road go sell it.

    That’s what the government need to do something about. People who want fi plant know seh dem fi do it. Dem wi find dem own tools and do it. Dut wha fi do bout de tief dem.

  16. Khani James says:

    I was in Westmoreland Jamaica (my home parish) back in February of this year discussing with a bunch of local farmers the possibilities of me investing in the area on land owned by UDC. I was introduce to a lady of whom I thought could not be more than in her late fifties.

    To my surprise she told me her husband died 30 years ago and she was 80 years young. I was in shock and awe. I could not resist the desire to ask her how she did it. Well she beamed with a deep sense of pride, I only eat food from my field and she continue to shower me with a list of food that we do take for granted and scrape to the side of our plates.

    Eat what you grow was put forth by the Honorable Sir Michael Manley. I think the idea was shut down by Edward Seaga in an effort to brain wash the people into accepting free or subsidize food from foreign countries which overtime, did more damage to the Jamaican economy.

    As a past student of Knockalve Agricultural school I believe in eating what you grow. I am still trying to obtain some of that land under the supervision of UDC for investment and hoping that they will see the light on the fact that Jamaica will pull itself out of the hole we are in once we learn to consume the natural wonders that our earth sector produces.
    That Young lady in Westmoreland has made me a believer.

  17. Milan says:

    I have always told my friends if you have a backyard most of the seed that you eat from a fruit should be planted in the backyard, because it save you money and it also give you a certain pride in eating what you grow. Someone stated that farming is messy, not if you put on a gloves and some boots, and you have to realize that you are not farming for the whole nation. I love farming, I live in an apartment complex, but at the side there is some soil, so I plant pumpkin seeds and you should see how beautiful they are, and the neighbors cannot wait to get one when they are ready to be picked, but the problem is as small as that is, you still have people who passed by and steal them even before they are ready, it is complicated to understand but in this world you will always have thieves, so to all the farmers continue to farm they cannot steal everything, keep your heads up and be proud.

  18. charlene says:

    Finally Jamaicans are waking up to the fact that naturally grown fruit and vegetables keep the doctor away. It is not below any of us to plant some fruits and vegetables. I tell people that I never heard of diabetes and cancer in Jamaica until people started to eat fertilized and imported food. My space is 7 feet by l feet and I grow tomatoes, green pepper, bokchoy, swiss chard, thyme, sage parsley and flowers. My children comment on how good the tomatoes taste. Let’s get planting. We have enough vacant lands to enable us to grow and feed ourselves. I know about the thieves, but we cannot let evil overcome the good. Pray for the thieves.

  19. Alet Viegas says:

    Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly. I look forward to future posts.
    There are various sea vessels involved in shipping to jamaica. It may include box boats or container ships, bulk carriers, tankers, ferries, cable layers, dredgers and barges.

  20. donny jackson says:

    i remember a doctor telling me,that he and his collegues had never treated a case of stomach cancer in jamaica,until the introduction of foreign fertilizers into food growing in jamaica….shows that good and bad come from the united states,but like the fork in the road,always choose the right way..

  21. Thanks for providing some reliable suggestions on this topic. I have sought out a wide variety of honest recommendations about gardening and some unreliable information. Do you have any more savvy ideas or places on the Internet that I can find more detailed ideas? This would be very much appreciated! So, continue the good work!

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