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Try Gardening for Health and Food

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Our Founding Fathers were farmers and gardeners.

Gardening is a hobby that can benefit almost everyone. The physical aspect of it will provide essential exercise for the whole body. Also, if the gardening is for food, such as vegetables and fruits, the added benefit of eating what you produce is one of the best ways to maintain good health.

“Along with the obvious health benefits comes the feeling of satisfaction that every tomato, ear of sweet corn or pepper harvested and consumed is one less item that contributes to the carbon footprint of having that same item trucked in from a distant location,” says Ron Smith, North Dakota State University Extension Service horticulturist.

Our Founding Fathers were farmers and gardeners. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison considered themselves farmers or gardeners rather than politicians. The presidents sought out each other for horticultural knowledge. They found respite in tending their vegetable and fruit tree plantings.

“While such pursuits were for their edification, each one also strongly believed that America’s future would be tied to agriculture, horticulture and forestry endeavors,” Smith says. “That commitment gave the fledgling country a fighting chance for independence and eventual leadership in world trade.”

It is a historical fact that these four presidents were correct in their thinking that a strong agricultural base equals a strong America, Smith notes.

“Even some of the most jaded politicians will admit that keeping our agricultural base strong, growing and innovative will lead the country out of the economic depression it is struggling to extract itself from,” Smith says.

What can the average citizen do? Grow a vegetable garden and enjoy the harvest.

“You will be growing and eating some of the very same crops these Founding Fathers did,” Smith says.


NDSU Agriculture Communication – June 24, 2011

Source:Ron Smith, (701) 231-7123, ronald.smith@ndsu.edu:
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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