Growing sustainable for a brighter future + Sponsored Video

Disclosure: This blog post contains a sponsored video, you don't have to watch it, but we would really appreciate it if you do. We get a little commission per every guest, that views the video.

This is why we support sustainability.

If you have been following this blog, by now you know that we grow some of our food organically. We started getting concerned with the relationship between what we ate, and our health when we started developing allergies we didn't have before, gaining odd weight, and starving from enough energy to go through the day. We realized that the food we ate had a lot of ingredients that were messing with our health.

I am Mexican, born and raised, so I was able to provide some input to my husband on how our food in supermarkets was a bit different from the one in the United States. For starters, in Mexico you know that if you don't eat your fruits and veggies in a few days, they will go bad. While here in the United States, we've forgotten about a fruit that could be laying in a dark corner of the fridge for months and when found, it looked almost perfect after all that time. That just made us feel like something was seriously wrong. It made me wonder-- If it took so long for it to go bad in the fridge, how long would it take to be digested if ever?

We started doing the transition little by little. We were in a tight budget so going organic from one day to the other was not going to happen. Taking advantage of my husband's love for gardening, we decided to learn about growing some of our own food just to try it out. We found out that it wasn't that hard to grow things we do eat such as; tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, and other greens. Summer became one of my favorite seasons, because we would literally see the fruit of our work.

We discovered that one of the most important things to consider to be successful was working your soil, and promoting good organisms. If you have a healthy soil, you'll have a higher chance to have a healthy crop. We also learned that taking care of the environment, like the pollinating insects was also important. We started getting flowers and other plants that attracted beneficial insects. Not only were they helping us get crops by pollinating the flowers that grew fruit, but they were also controlling pests. Yes, when you grow organic food, you'll have all sort of pests. Let's just put it this way; if nature approves your food, you are good!

These are some of our first ever harvested borage flowers. Not only did they attract beneficial insects, but they tasted delicious.

This is a photo of the first time we grew tomatoes, we started little, we used bamboo sticks found on the beach to build the tomato cages, and save our selves some money while trying to be sustainable.

We were successful and we had a great few crops the first year. However, we were aware that gardening organically is expensive too. We came to the conclusion that it was smart and wise to save seeds. Farmers have done it for centuries, and that was what was going to help us create a mini sustainable garden. For starters, growing weeds that are edible and also delicious like Magenta lamb's quarter proved to be a very smart and sustainable choice; we were not going to run out of salad greens for a while. Saving the seeds from our borage, which is a great companion plant for tomatoes. Saving the seeds from our favorite tomato plants, specially those that grew perfectly well during the season. It was a great adventure and 3 years after we started this journey, we still have seeds from our first season. It is awesome!

These are our first potatoes ever and our first cucumber, from which we still have seeds after 3 years.

This was our first tomato harvest. We were very proud, and oh boy--the were delicious.

Our little organic experiment was working well, however, the reality was that we had a very small space to grow food, plus the Home Owner's Association wasn't very happy about us growing food. To their eyes we were farming, and that is not something that is allowed. We were literally in a pickle. Once you taste your own home grown crops you can't look back. It's cruel for your palate to go back. Knowing that what you grew had the love, the sweat, and all the goodies that you placed in the soil, is priceless. We were not going to get far with our crops, because of the size our garden was, versus the amount of food we needed.

Our herb and greens area. Before and After 2 weeks. Healthy organisms, healthy food.

We started looking for options; farmers markets, discount stores, sales. It was frustrating to be stuck outside and not being able to eat until we got home, because of ingredients that fast food restaurants were using. It was a blessing when some restaurants started changing their menus and adding organically grown or grass-fed options. However, there were still food products that we were used to and we missed, but couldn't eat because they had some of those questionable ingredients that we were trying to avoid. We had to start making our own bread, tortillas, and cream cheese spread. However, it was difficult to find the time to make all those things from scratch on a weekly basis.

This is why supporting the sustainable revolution is so important. You can try doing what we did, but it is not going to be enough if you have a small home with strict rules about growing gardens. Nonetheless, if you think about it, we have the power to control what is sold in stores. If you don't like a product, you don't buy it, and then eventually they stop selling it. You can also suggest organic choices to your favorite companies and the more of us that do that, will obviously prove a point. In the last year and a half, we have seen a lot of change through people asking for more choices. Now there are fast food restaurants that offer you an all organic menu, and others that just added the option to their menu so that people like us can have a choice. More and more we see companies that we love change too, and offer an organic or non-gmo option, which has agreed with both our budget and our lifestyle. It is way easier to grow what we can and compliment it with products from these great companies, and keep on a healthier life.

The results have been that we have gotten healthier, and have also lost some weight just by eating well. I have to be honest, at the beginning it is hard to make the switch because you have to learn which products are okay, and it is very easy to get tempted. However, once you got the hang of it, it becomes easier and easier to the point in which you don't miss it at all, and you are actually looking forward to a taste of freshly picked tomato, or a delicious salad grown in your own garden, to which you can add the dressing from one of these sustainable conscious companies. You put a little bit of you, and a little bit of them and keep on with your healthy goals.

This companies need our help to help us. We need to ask for what we want, and support them by worth of mouth. I am not saying that you have to be screaming out to the world. I am just saying that if you try a product, and you like the product, let other people know that they have a choice. When people don't do much about something, it is not because they don't care, it is because they don't know. Knowledge is our best surviving weapon, and sharing is caring. This is why I invite you to follow us in our sister blog "The Happy Reviewers Blog." We decided to share some of the organic and non-gmo products we buy at the grocery store so that you are aware they exist and you can try them yourself if you feel like it. Sometimes when you don't know something exists it is hard to see it on the shelves of a store, but when you can recognize it, it is easier to find it and give it a go when it is of your interest.

We hope we can encourage you the same way we got encouraged to live a healthier life in an affordable way. Our dream is to own a small scale farm one day, and help others learn how to grow sustainable for a brighter future. It is the weekend, and we are usually working in our edible garden. If you want to know a little about what we are up to in our garden, you can follow our Youtube gardening channel: The Lopez Garden, where we can all learn together.

Have a lovely and productive weekend.

Disclosure: The video in this blog post is a sponsored video, from which we obtain a small commission. With each view, you are supporting the maintenance of this blog, so that we can provide you with more posts about our life experience, product reviews, and future giveaways. The information and graphics, aside of the sponsor video belong to The Happy Baby Blog, sister blog The Happy Reviewers blog, and The Lopez Garden youtube channel. All opinions and experiences are our own.

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