By Kareen Gangell
Growing vegetables is a wonderful hobby, that rewards us in so many ways. In particular, there has been a lot of manipulation in our food markets, which has led to grave concerns for our health and well being. With the incidence of bowel and stomach cancers on the rise, its little wonder that people are interested in now growing their own healthy and chemical free produce. Australia is one of the only countries who still use the ripening gas, on our fruits, as its been linked to a variety of cancers, and even though there is an alternative to this particular chemical spray (ethylene), yet Australian authorities continue to use it anyway. I have been growing my own produce for two years now, and have never used a chemical for pest control, nor a spray for any soil borne disease. I have many natural remedies for deterring pests, that don’t involve the use of these poisonous chemicals, such as chilli and garlic spray, rhubarb spray, milk, etc. So , with a bit of thought (and some cooking in the kitchen,) these can be made up and used safely, everyday. It does not require a huge amount of soil to grow enough produce to feed a small family, and it can also be a family activity, which can include keeping poultry, for fresh eggs, composting and worm farms. There are many books on the subject, as well as internet websites, so there is always help at hand, should you need it. Its an enjoyable way to spend some time.