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Letter from Publisher - July 2021

Jun 28, 2021 02:26PM ● By Dave Korba

“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates

 

My first paying job was working on Rovinski’s Farm when I was 9 years old. The farm was on the corner of our neighborhood street and literally right behind our house. I’m not sure there was any strict enforcement of child labor law back then, because I was one of many young kids working in the fields. Twenty-five cents an hour was the going rate. I guess it was better than working in the coal mines where the kids in my grandparents’ generation worked. For us, it wasn’t about earning money to support the family; it was more a matter of having something to do and getting a few bucks of our own for spending money.

 

The work came in two seasons; planting and picking, and included a variety of crops such as cucumbers, squash, carrots, onions, potatoes, corn and likely tomatoes, beans and peppers. So much time has passed that I can’t remember all of them for sure. What I do remember is the rich nature of the soil in which we worked. Long rows were tilled, and from our knees we’d shove our planting device into the loose soil, drop in the seedlings, cover the hole, move forward and repeat. It was a small, local farm and there were no fertilizers or chemicals used in the planting process back then.

 

After working in the fields, we would walk half a block home and tend the vegetable garden we had planted behind our garage. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and peppers all arrived in the kitchen fresh from the garden most nights during the season. Having a bountiful and nourishing vegetable garden was the norm for most families in our neighborhood, so no one thought twice about it.

 

Just a few years ago, when my dad was elderly, I recall him being slightly indignant when I would pay extra to buy local, organic produce and groceries. Our garden was long gone, but he didn’t quite appreciate how great the quality difference had become between the local, naturally grown food we grew up with and the chemically fertilized, institutionally farmed crops that are transported vast distances today.

 

This month’s feature and Green Living department are must-reads, as is our entire issue and the lineup of online exclusive articles (page 30), including The Horn Farm Center for Agriculture Education discussing their community garden effort.

 

Whether you already have a vegetable garden or are inspired to start one, you can dig into this issue and follow the path to feeling good, living simply and laughing more.





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