The 2016 Great NEWS posts are dedicated to Holistic Habits to help us be happy and healthy. Today’s post investigates the advantages and benefits of eating okra and other drought tolerant plants. Ecological farming has been around for millennium and is finding a resurgence due to climate changes. Beans, corn, okra and red potatoes have been favorite foods for me since childhood because my grandparents grew a lot of them. They are on my mind again as an easy to grow delicious and nutritious food to grow on my property in Belize. When you are looking to create an organic garden based around abundant, heat tolerant, permaculuture, simplicity and sustainability drought tolerant foods like okra are a great choice. Beans, hemp, melons and okra are great choices for many people due to the easy of growing and nutritious health benefits.
My first experience eating okra was on my grandparents farm near San Antonio, Texas. It was easy to grow, easy to harvest and easy to cook. At around age five or six all three benefits were cleverly introduced to me as a young and impressionable young boy. Okra, onions and stewed tomatoes was a common dish served on the farm. We also ate fried okra and okra in goulash. Our goulash consisted of beans, corn, onions, okra, potatoes, tomatoes and ground meat.
If it was good enough for my grandfather the farmer who drove a tractor and worked hard all day running a farm it was good enough for me. Fast forward to today you will find me still eating okra, onions and stewed tomatoes as well as okra in gumbo and okra in goulash. When I stopped eating fried foods fried okra was eliminated. When you enjoy a delicious and nutritious nutrient dense organic food it is easy to stick with a great food.
Recently I learned okra is being grown by many Creole, Garifuna and Maya people in Belize so it seems like a great choice for my eco community and permaculture project in Belize. My goal is to grow as much of my own food as possible. My plan is to also grow enough to feed residents and visitors to our eco community. This will help keep our costs down, our food quality high and be more sustainable as we build and protect the soil. No matter what you grow the bacteria, minerals, organic matter, soil and topsoil are vital to food and plant productivity.
Okra is Eco Friendly
Did you know that many food crops require excessive amounts of water and deplete the soil more rapidly? It seem ridiculous to grow animal feed and human food crops that require massive water irrigation and sprinklers on arid and hot land but that is exactly what many farmers do. On land in Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Mexico, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and many other states with large areas of relatively low rain fall farmers are growing many food crops that require massive irrigation systems. They keep the plants growing in spite of the fact the conditions, rainfall and soil are not optimal for this type of farming. Therefore they are over consuming and wasting valuable aquifers, creeks, lakes, rivers and topsoil in a very unsustainable way.
Most alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, soy and sugar beet crops are GMO and are not an eco friendly due to the heavy use of fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and pesticides. They also require high rain fall or irrigation which cause an excessively large water foot print.
Drought tolerant foods and plants are gaining more popularity as more people see the cost savings, environmental advantages and water savings. Plants like aloe vera, amaranth, asparagus, beans, black eyed beans, cactus, carrots, cassava, chickpeas, coconuts, corn, dandelion, fava beans, garlic, hemp, melons, onions, peanuts, pearl millet, okra, parsnips, pinto beans, pumpkins, rhubarb, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and watermelon are great choices. Top fruit choices include apricots, avocado, carob, cashew, date palm, figs, goji berries, jujube, loquat, mulberry, mangoes, mulberries, olives, peaches, persimmon, pomegranates, prickly pear cactus fruit and wild grapes.
There are many places in the world where planting them is a combination of good common sense and survival. They are good foods for feeding people and good for protecting the planet.
Advantages of Easy and Efficient Foods
Easy to grow and drought tolerant food crops may be the smart choices for many businesses, farms, fields, gardens, parks, restaurants, road sides, rooftops, schools and yards. When we wake up to the fact that water is a precious commodity and we are wasting billions of gallons of clean drinking quality water to grow foods that are unsustainable we may find our intelligence again and realize that okra and other drought tolerant foods are a better choice for a better and more sustainable future. Drought tolerant plants are a great choice for many locations that are currently overlooked as food production sites.
Benefits of Drought Tolerant Plants
There are many benefits to growing drought tolerant plants.
- Drought tolerant plants are easy and efficient ways to capture and convert free sunlight into healthy food sources to feed and fuel the world.
- They can be used in many different locations that are lying fallow or growing grass and weeds that require mowing.
- Many require minimal fossil fuel energy and rain water usage without wasting drinking water.
- They can be planted with minimal costs, labor and materials. There are too many people and places around the planet that are becoming too dependent on bio technology and high technology farming methods to be sustainable long term.
- Drought tolerant plants can be grown to use rain water and rain catch systems of creeks, lakes, levies, ponds, swales, terraces and rivers.
- Some drought tolerant plants like beans, cactus, moringa, okra, peas and squash could provide an abundant, reliable and safe source of foods for animals and people.
- Drought tolerant and heirloom plants do not require the use of harmful chemicals, fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and pesticides.
- Drought tolerant plants could capture the rain and sun and produce energy and food for animals and people.
- Many areas with a water shortage could benefit from drought tolerant plants to produce foods while saving water.
- When we fully contemplate the chemicals, environmental damage, maintenance, materials, money, resources and time expended for bio technology and conventional crops it is quite clear the current system is not sustainable in many locations of the world. In many developed and developing countries drought tolerant heirloom crops are a great choice to improve the populations health and well being at the same time as feeding them.
With all the benefits of drought tolerant plants like okra it may well be the most eco friendly way to increase food production without damaging the environment like most current farming methods. Growing drought tolerant and heirloom plants is good for our health and good for the planet. What better benefits and reasons do you need to begin buying, growing, planting, promoting and supporting drought tolerant plants?
The Healthy Habits 2016 series is dedicated to sharing simple steps for sustainable health and well being. Drought tolerant plants and heirloom foods are a great choice for food self sufficiency and sustainability. They are easy ways to produce very low cost foods for providing a large percentage of our animal and human food needs which is great for us and the environment. When more people understand the benefits and commit to growing and planting these crops we will reduce our costs and increase our productivity with more cost effective and efficient animal and human food solutions and systems.
What is your current Gap?
Have you tried: black eye beans, cactus, cashews, chick peas, cassava, dandelion, fava beans, hemp or okra yet ? Can you think of list of common excuses why you are missing out on these amazing health foods that are good for you and the planet? Have you seen camp grounds, community parks, farms, golf courses, green spaces, roadside parks, schools, yards or other places where drought resistant organic victory gardens could provide valuable foods? What will it take for more people to begin growing drought tolerant foods? Imagine the benefits of growing eco friendly and sustainable foods that are good for you and the planet?
Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
There is a wealth of wisdom on the internet regarding the many choices of drought tolerant heirloom foods available. You will find some great information on the Mother Earth News website. What will it take to educate and inspire you to plant some soon? Before Its News has some great information on drought tolerant plants for foods to help you learn more about the benefits they offer. Greenpeace has a helpful article on how drought tolerant crops are working well. When we invest the energy, money and time to capitalize and grow more drought resistant food crops we will make giant leaps improving the health and well being of hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Call to Action
What comments, commitments or concerns come to mind regarding the many advantages of drought tolerant plants like beans, cashew, cassava, coconuts, moringa, okra, peas? Are you ready to learn more and support this movement for economical and ecological sustainability?
Next week the Great NEWS blog will share:
Are Your Adrenals Under Attack?
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