Friday, 31 December 2010

A simple, frugal and self sufficient lifestyle - why?

We moved to Cyprus in October 2009 with the aim of growing most of our own food. We have a large garden and have established twenty-two deep beds for vegetables, a herb garden and a mini-orchard where we have planted 44 fruit and nut trees.

We initially started the Cyprus Gardener website to provide information on growing organic food but have gradually come to realise that food is only part of living a sustainable lifestyle and this blog is an opportunity not only talk about growing our own food but other sustainability issues. 
There is a growing awareness that our materialistic lifestyles, in a world with depleting resources, are not sustainable over the long term. Especially in a world where one in four of the worlds population still live in extreme poverty. We need to consider living simpler and more sustainable lifestyles to meet our everyday needs but at the same time not compromise the ability of future generations to enjoy a life without scarcity. A simpler lifestyle does not mean we need to go without but we do need to review lifestyles which are generally based on over consumption and materialistic values. As Gandhi said, "The rich must live more simply so that the poor may simply live".
Growing some of your own food organically is a good start to a sustainable lifestyle which is open to us all. And reduces our over reliance on the large food multinationals which are dependant on depleting oil for growing and transporting food thousands of miles around the world. Growing your own food without relying on artificial fertilisers and chemicals also protects the soil on which we all depend and supports biodiversity.

There is growing evidence, obviously denied or rejected by the food industry, that organic foods are higher in nutrients and vitamins and consequently a healthier choice. Feeding ourselves with food which is chemically and GM free has to be your first step towards a sustainable lifestyle. Everybody, even with very little space using containers or pots, can grow some of their own food organically or if not support, by using their purchasing choices, those who do. With food scare stories almost daily such as mass food poisoning, hormones in milk, mad cow disease and cloned meat its no wonder more and more people are realising that growing their own food is the only safe method of producing nutritious food. 
This blog will hopefully offer suggestions on what you can do to live a more sustainable, simpler and frugal lifestyle.
I honestly believe that there is a growing shift in attitudes to food, and other sustainable lifestyle choices, as we gradually return to enjoying our food rather than treating it as another factory commodity where our food is produced as cheaply as possible.
Small steps do matter so join the movement.