By Elizabeth and Crow Miller

"The Natural Family"

IN a sense we all belong to an natural family. Its members include not only our immediate relatives, but also the plants we eat, the animals that support us, and the soil that feeds everyone.

Yes, the soil that feeds us, that's something we should all think about these days, when ever you turn around you hear about this farm or that, thats been sold because of poor farming methods and now their building condos, houses, or mini-malls. Sure people have to have a place to live, but without food there is no life. 80% of all food consimed here on Long Island is trucked in, if for some reason it stoped being trucked in what are you going to do for food ? Eat a condo ?

People are suddenly realizing that the traditional family is slowly disintegrating, its members eating on the run, parents living separstely, and children banding together in new associations. To a member of a non-natural family, potatoes come in the form of a white powder packed in a cardboard box. Milk comes from containers, and soup from envelopes. It's a plastic world ?

In a truly natural situation, many different plant and animals grow together. Each organism complements the other in some way. Tall plants provide the shade which small plants need. Weeds send their roots deep into the subsoil to bring up minerals into their leaves. When the leaves fall those minerals feed the shallow rooted plants. Animals eat certain plants, dropping manure which becomes the natural fertilizer for other plants. Even when plants and animals crowd each other out, they are serving constructively the order and balance of Nature.

Of course, Nature can't be left alone to balance itself out if we are going to have the high production of farms and gardens, and are going to allow some people to live in cities while others live and work on farms. But the so-called modern commercial, chemicalized farm tears apart the natural family and disrupts the balance of Nature far more then is necessary or desirable. Food of better quality could be produced more cheaply if the Natural family were treated with respect.

The chemical farmer put toxic chemicals on their land to kill all but the one type of plant he wants to grow. Then they grow that same plant year after year in the same field, without rotating crops to give the soil a chance to rest or regenerate itself. Whenever an insect comes on the scene or some other problem arises, more toxic chemicals are brought out to blast the offender.

Many chemical farmers don't even eat the crops they grow. Wheat growers buy bread at the store, and cattleman eat hot dogs. Natural people are different. They look on their farms and gardens as part of a natural system, of which they themseleves are a part. They want a good harvest, not only to sell but to eat. Natural people also want the natural system to keep functioning. They observe and try to understand the web of life that Nature weaves, and put to practical use the lessons they learn. As a result they have themselves a healthier and happier family.

Many years ago, I had this dream, or you could say a nightmare about my Son, Zeb, who was only 3 years old at the time. In this dream my Son Zeb was a very old man. Sitting on his knee was his Great Grand son.

And as the vivion started to faid away, I heard the boy say, "Great Grand Paw Zeb, What is a Tree ? Did we ever have one here on Earth ?" "Were there really things call fish that lived in Oceans and Rivers? And where are all the rivers now? and did people really drink water that came out of the Earth ?" "PEOPLE !!!But why didn't their care ?"

Remember, "We did not inherit the Earth from our parents, we are borrowing it from our children." (Old Zeb, The Amish Farmer)

"Let's Plants The Seeds For A Green And Growing, Strong America."

Note: Register now for evening gardening classes. All classes taught

by Crow Miller, Organic Farmer and Author of "best Seller" "Let"s Get Growing" Classes 1 nght a week, 8 P.M. To 10 P.M. for 8 weeks.

For more information Call Elizabeth 862-6667.

Copyright o 1996 / Crow Miller, Syndication. / Garden Philosophy / On-Line