The pleasure of growing your own food

Saturday March 27 2021

Farmers tend to avocado seedlings. Photo | Michael J Ssali

Most of the ideas in today’s discussion are drawn from the teaching and demonstrations of Slow Food, an international anti-hunger organisation that strives to ensure that everyone can access good, clean and fair food. It teaches the strong relationship between food and health.

It also teaches that a good diet and an active lifestyle are the best way to ensure a long healthy life. It also recommends choosing to eat foods made using methods that preserve agro-biodiversity and have a low impact on the climate change crisis.

One way to ensure that we are eating good, clean, and fair food is to have our own food gardens where we can grow our own vegetables, pulses, maize, potatoes, and other food crops.
For people with a reasonable amount of space around their residences a personal food garden is an excellent idea. You know what seeds you plant and the harvest you are likely to have. 

You will not mindlessly spray your food crops with pesticides and other chemicals because you know the crops are actually your personal food. If you cannot avoid using the chemicals you are at least expected to strictly follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines when applying them.

Since it is your personal garden you will most probably apply the most soil sustaining farming practices such as using organic manure such as decomposing livestock droppings, urine, and decomposing leaves or any other green matter. You will have achieved what Slow Food refers to as food sovereignty ---- food that is grown and eaten in its own home.

You will have the freedom to grow the traditional food crops of your tribe and the joy of cooking them as you were taught by your parents and grandparents.


Since you will personally be involved in the physical work in the food garden, what an excellent way of exercising your body muscles? 

You will have the pleasure of eating the food that you know which place in the garden it was harvested from.  You will be eating the eggs laid by a hen that keeps walking and scratching the ground for insects in your compound.

Mr Michael Ssali is a veteran journalist,