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Dig This! Food Dreams

My food worries have increased.  I could take sedatives, but I’m trying another tactic: writing about some of my food dreams.  I’ve been chasing my food dreams since 1973, starting in French Gulch with a big garden that fed about 20 people, and then in Shingletown and Eritrea, northeast Africa.  Each garden taught me how to grow more food with less cost and effort. Here are some dreams to share with you:

I dream that our year-round garden is providing a huge amount of the food we need.  For what we don’t grow we have collaborative and trade arrangements with friends and neighbors for things like eggs and fruits.    Some things we’ll live without and some things, like tea and mangos, we’ll buy, but we continue to save thousands of dollars each year.

I’ve dreamt that all food, including the tea and mangos, is organic so we won’t have to worry about pesticide residues, chemical flavorings and preservatives.  Food safety issues cause nightmares.  Bacteria food poisoning is obvious, but slow poisoning by chemicals is oblivious.

I’m dreaming of the time that all GMOs will be thoroughly tested and labeled.  In addition, GMOs will become part of the public domain and not part of corporations that want to control the world’s seeds for their own profits.

I’ve often dreamt that our kids and grandkids are being served healthy organic cafeteria meals in every school from preschool through college.  I see in my dreams healthy strong kids playing games and exercising during school time.

I’m dreaming that food education, gardens and sustainable agriculture have become part of all school curriculums.  After all, it’s our kids who will benefit; but unfortunately, it looks like they will have to make the needed changes.

I’ve had dreams of going into restaurants and having a great time choosing from menus of local seasonal fresh food dishes prepared by creative chefs.

I dream that I can buy fresh local food at nearby public farmers’ markets, 7 days a week.

I have had dreams that our local economic growth is based upon agriculture and the local food trade. Likewise I have dreamt that our government agencies support local agriculture through water-for-food policies, encouragement for anybody to have hens for eggs and goats for milk, and inducements for gardeners to supply food to the needy.

Not long ago I had a dream that a mayor gave out prizes for the best food gardens in the city; prizes for the most productive, the most beautiful, the most diversified, and so forth.

In my dreams I see food gardens being planted in every yard year round; corn in front yards and chickens in back. I see many neighborhood gardens sharing greenhouses for starting seedlings and growing tasty tomatoes in December. I see children in all gardens. And, I see cities with urban farms providing food for the elderly and disabled.

Young farmers, in my dreams, are leading the way toward sustainable agriculture.  They are working together in cooperative organizations to grow, distribute and sell fresh local food.

I’ve dreamt that I’m at a Compost Club discussing and demonstrating the newest and easiest ways to make the best compost in the world.  Compost, Dirt Clubs, and Canning Clubs have become part of community social activity.

I dream that healthy fresh food (without added salt, sugar, oil and chemical additives to make the food-like stuff taste good) lines the shelves of supermarkets, all at affordable prices.

Dreams are the first baby steps toward change.  Altruistic cooperative changes need to happen before food shortages, chemical foods and health epidemics swallow us up.  I know that I’m not the only one with food dreams. Share them.

Dream on people. Dream for our grandkids.

Wayne Kessler is the former owner of Shambani Organics, former Peace Corps volunteer, and founding member of Growing Local.

Wayne Kessler

Following his grandfather's advice, "Grow food. People always need food," has led Wayne to a lifetime of cultivating and processing food. He spends much of his time encouraging people to become more food independent by growing their own.

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