Our Journey Into A Sustainable Food Supply
In 1975, I was a high school student with a passion for growing things. Thankfully my mother supported the idea of organic gardening. I tilled the plot in our Winter Park, FL backyard which was about 800 ft². In that small space I was able to fill up two full size freezers of rich organic food, twice a year, with plenty of fresh vegetables left over to eat and give to friends and family.
Organic gardening in 1975 was not as popular or as easy as it is today. Back then we didn't have such easy access to the products and knowledge to raise an organic garden. There was a lot of trial and error in finding ways to keep the pesky critters from eating more than their fair share. I tried many things including boiling onions and garlic together, filtering it and then spraying it on the vegetables, I also tried soaps and even resorted to just picking the bugs off of the leaves. Thankfully today it's a lot easier, as you will learn by reviewing this website.
I also raised chickens for eggs and rabbits for meat, their waist made excellent fertilizer.
After college came work, apartment living, travel for work etc. I let the organic gardening hobby go but vowed to someday come back to it. That day was October 15, 2013 when my wife and I moved into a home on 1.3 acres of land in Volusia County Florida. My philosophy for returning to gardening is to only plant things that I could eat. There have been successes and costly failures (time and money. Five years later I simply can't place the food fast enough, all of this in a very small area.
Today we have 38 raised beds of varying sizes which total about 1500 sq feet of grow area, An essential 12' by 19' greenhouse with grow lights. The hydroponic system started as an Aquaponics system for raising tilapia and vegetables, twelve months later we got rid of the fish and converted to hydroponics only. I'll discuss the reasons for this decision later.
Our Garden Lifestyle Purpose:
Plant only what nourishes us.
Quality, nutrient value and taste
Food miles - Food miles are the number of miles your food has to travel to reach your plate. In many cases food can travel thousands of miles before it reaches the grocery store. This increases pollution and the food nutritional value degrades rapidly during transit. In many cases the food is irradiated meaning that you are eating dead food. No one knows the long term effects of eating irradiated food, the longest study that we could find was only 15 weeks. We measure our food miles in feet from our kitchen to the garden, we know it is high quality, high in nutritional value, and free from harmful chemicals.
Beauty - Our canvas if you will.
Rapid Salability - should the need arise.
Alfred Henry Lewis said in a March 1906 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine.“There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy”,
A word about organic. Organically grown food and the word "organic" has been around for a very long time. Some government official, most likely pressured by large scale food producers, decided that there was a profit opportunity in certifying a product as "organic". They came up with a bunch of rules which simply added cost and forced the small farmer out of the picture due to certification costs. Our food is organic but the government doesn't recognize it as so and quite frankly I don't care.
Organic gardening is as both an art and a science, I have a passion for understanding both. I have read and reviewed thousands of websites, articles, blogs, university websites and watched countless videos. There are many conflicts, omissions, misstatements and misleading information in this body of work. Hopefully by sharing our experiences Dawn Organics helps you save time and money on your growing journey.