I am old enough to remember groceries in boxes and paper shopping bags, the local green grocer, the butcher and the baker, we had crates of beer, flagons and cardboard packed cans.

 It was common to have preserves, bottling fruit, pickles and chutney, freezing garden harvests of beans, carrots, corn, broccoli and cauliflower.  Mending clothes, knitting, dress making, curtain making, darning socks and water came from taps.plastic bottlesCredit: google images

 "When water in plastic bottles was first introduced I thought, this will never catch on, fancy buying Water, I will never buy water - it is just plain stupid".

 Yeah right!

 I have since bought water, the plastic is handy to carry around refill and use a few times before disposing.  Now you can make plastic from air! Yes! Plastic can be made by sucking CO2 from the air.A US company called Newlight Technologies.

 We had homemade tomato sauce - have you ever tasted it?tomatoesCredit: google images

 Pure gold, nothing like the product you buy on the supermarket shelf , delicious home grown tomatoes, onions, apples, vinegar and a few spices; that’s all, nothing else.

 I was talking to a friend the other day who was boasting about the home made tomato sauce her husband had been given for Christmas from a colleague at work.  His colleagues partner, had made it quite clear in a menacing tone, “your bloody lucky to be getting that, because I wouldn’t share it”. The comment made him want to hide it and protect his precious gift from view.

 Home grown food is delicious, fresh and full of premium wholesome, healthy nutrients. You know what has gone into producing home grown and the cost is minimal to you and to the environment.  No transport miles, no loss in nutrient value, no (oil based) plastic bags or packaging to carry it home, no unknown sprays, fertilizers or chemicals.  Just pure and fresh premium home grown.

 tomatoesThis was highlighted recently with my home grown tomatoes.

 I have a great spot that grows fantastic tomatoes up against the shed, they grow so well there and produce masses every year in the same place. I have read that it is recommended you rotate the places to grow tomatoes yearly but it just didn’t work for me.

 Friends of ours had just come back from living overseas for a few years and we gave them some tomatoes to take home with them. Wow! next time we saw them they raved about them, what flavor!  So tasty! So delicious! Most home grown tomatoes are grown outside with the benefit of full sun exposure which gives them that wonderful flavor. 

 We have all been disappointed with buying fruit or vegetables and they have looked so much better than they taste, especially apples, have you ever been fooled by lovely juicy looking apples only to find them rotten inside?

 The benefit to all of us growing our own fruit and vegetables is worth the effort and as it turns out, who would have thought that this will improve your health and prosperity in one go.

 verticle gardenCredit: google imagesThe answer is in our backyard, in our garden. If you haven’t got any garden space you would be surprised just what can be grown in a bucket or a vertical garden where even fruit trees can be espaliers.  So just like granny, we can get out the spade, the preserving jars, jam pot and seeds, pull up our sleeves and get on with the job.  It’s about doing it for yourself and your family.bucket plantsCredit: google images

 Recent history has proven that the world as we know it can change in snap of the fingers we are slowly recovering from a recession.  New Zealand endured the recession along with the rest of the world, but recovered quicker than most and today in 2014 we have all but recovered. 

 But it highlighted a point to me.  I can live on less and reduce waste by making a few changes in the way I do things.  I do not have to be the type of consumer I was pre-recession. It was something that had never really occurred to me until the global recession.

It is hard to believe that with less spending our health will improve, it happened in WW2 with “food rationing” people just did not have access to as much of the foods that actually cause many of the health issues that plague us today in Western society. Limited availability of basics like butter, flour, sugar and milk required more reliance on what we could get from our home garden.ww2 food rationing

 Put quite simply what you put in is what you get out, and many of the diseases that clog our hospitals today are simply symptoms of  a bad diet.  Acne, Arthritis, Chronic fatigue, Colic, Constipation, Gastric Ulcers, Diabetes, Heart disease, Obesity, Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel syndrome, Cancer, Asthma, Hay fever, Eczema, - the list goes on ……

 Working in the health industry you get to see just how many people turn up with serious eating/food related dis-ease. While in practice as a Medical Herbalist, I would have to say the majority of clients who came to see me had already tried conventional medicine which failed to solve their problem or the cure was worse than the disease. In my experience herbal medicine has more to offer for its ability to remedy so many of the above mentioned ailments especially any digestive problem. 

brisk walkingCredit: google imagesExercise is very important as well and 30 minutes brisk walking daily is probably the most beneficial exercise one can take up - it’s free - 30 minutes time out for yourself and 30 minutes of fresh air daily. I find it really clears my head and helps me get through the day. It is also kind to your joints and is an excellent weight bearing exercise.

 Simple fresh home grown food was normal when I was a child and in New Zealand today many primary schools have a vegetable garden where children learn to grow vegetables. They are developing a skill that our grandparents knew about, with the advantage of knowing that by doing so they will enhance their future nutritionally more than we ever knew possible before.