http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/291681

FDA lettuce recall - Interested in a safe, healthy alternative? Special

Posted May 7, 2010 by Kim I. Hartman
Spring has sprung in my neighborhood and that means garden season has begun. Bunny rabbits and baby robins are feeding in the fresh tilled garden in search of their daily dinner. It also means one FDA vegetable recall after another headed to my in box.
A bunch of romaine lettuce
A bunch of romaine lettuce
Theorris
Freshway Foods1 of Sidney, Ohio, announced today a voluntary recall of certain romaine lettuce products because of the possible connection between the recalled romaine lettuce and an outbreak of food borne disease. FDA supports this action by Freshway Foods. The outbreak, which is still under investigation, involves cases in Michigan, Ohio, and New York of illnesses due to infection with E. coli O145, a harmful bacteria according to today's FDA press release.
On May 5, 2010, the New York state Public Health Laboratory, Wadsworth Center, in Albany reported finding E. coli O145 in an unopened bag of Freshway Foods shredded romaine lettuce being recalled.
This chemical and e-coli free vegetable garden measures 30x30 and will feed the average family throu...
This chemical and e-coli free vegetable garden measures 30x30 and will feed the average family throughout the summer months and it to the fall.
A Freshway Foods press release says the recalled shredded romaine lettuce was sold to wholesalers, food service outlets, and some in-store salad bars and delis in the following areas: Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
In my backyard garden you will find red potatos  tomatos  lettuce  cabbage  green beans  corn  onion...
In my backyard garden you will find red potatos, tomatos, lettuce, cabbage, green beans, corn, onions, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, watermelons, pepperplants, marigolds and scattered sunflower seeds for the birds.
Why anyone with a yard isn't growing their own vegetables is beyond my comprehension level. I have always grown as many of my vegetables as possible whether that was growing them in hanging baskets and large pots on a deck while living oceanfront or in my backyard when in the mountains.
Today's FDA warning is the just the beginning of the spring and summer recalls on vegetables that we will be hearing about and reporting on. I for one don't want to eat vegetables that have been irrigated with the runoff sewage water that some of these massive vegetable growing farming industries are using to water the fields and wash the produce before shipping.
Gardening is simple and fun. I find my zen space once I step over the little rabbit fencing that surrounds my 30x30 vegetable garden. It is physically and mentally therapeutic for me.
This size garden produces almost 75% of my total foods from May till October. Fresh from the garden to my table for summer meals to winter dinners made from wholesome ingredients frozen and canned from my little piece of heaven on earth. I always have plenty of extra bounty to share with family and neighbors.
One of dozens of colanders full of this years strawberry crop
One of dozens of colanders full of this years strawberry crop
Once in the garden with my hand and feet in the dirt, all life's worries disappear and it's just me, the soil, the plants, the sun, the obese bunny rabbits who always seem to find a way through or around the fence when they are ready to share the spring veggies with me.
When the robins are hatching in the trees in my yard I am planting my seed and having the soil tilled to feed these feathery friends I have made that actually come up to me to be picked up and lifted back over the garden fence so they can search for more worms to fill their fattened tummy's. The only part of gardening I can not do alone is spring tilling and that is what brother's are for. Thanks again brother.
One of three baby robins who spend the day in my  garden dining on a meal of worms. Isn t she adorab...
One of three baby robins who spend the day in my garden dining on a meal of worms. Isn't she adorable?
It doesn't take that much work to maintain a backyard garden. Many people are working together in small co-op garden space in cities around the country. People with land meet people with hands to work the garden and all parties benefit from these almost free vegetables that are brought out of the ground with teamwork and then shared.
And if you don't have a tiller or think you can't do this on your own. Think again, I planted my garden for the second year in a row with one arm and one hand and two feet, and if I can muster the energy to maximize the use of my yard to provide me with good healthy alternatives to the contaminated vegetables available in stores, then so can you.
Granted, it is a lot of work and much harder for someone like me but it is pleasurable kind of work once you begin home gardening. Most often I work in the garden sitting down to ease the strain on my broken body. I find the many rewards are as plentiful as the vegetables I will harvest.
This herb bed is 20 ft long and 2 ft wide and produces more herbs then an average family will use in...
This herb bed is 20 ft long and 2 ft wide and produces more herbs then an average family will use in a year
Experiment with some herbs too. You can grow these in pots in your window sill or a small herb bed like mine where in three years I have gradually added herbs to where I now have garlic, lemon basil, chives, genovese basil, dill, sage, rosemary and cilantro all growing as well as a little bit of horseradish root that was shared with me at the end of last gardening season.
So turn off that computer get yourself in gear and out the door and to your local farmers market or feed store to get the lowest priced starter plants and seeds. No excuses allowed. Beginning a garden need not be expensive, nor intimidating for the novice. Buy a few plants and hoe a small space in your yard and have some fun this spring and summer while watching your garden grow.
If you are already an experienced gardener or looking for a summer project for kids, be sure to check out my next article on how to grow square watermelons in your backyard garden.