Excerpt from Rx From the Garden

by Kathleen Barnes


There is a certain romance to a garden. Whether it comes from a solitary basil

plant on a window ledge, a potted tomato on an urban balcony, a small plot in

a community garden, or a well-manicured full-scale spread, we humans take pride

in growing our own food, feeding ourselves and relishing the flavor and vitality

our homegrown foods bring to our bodies and spirits.

Most of us are aware that eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables

daily can prevent and even treat a host of diseases and illnesses. More and more

of us are becoming aware of the importance of eating fresh wholesome local food

that can keep us healthy and literally extend our lives. Many of us are trying to

save money by growing our own food. Some of us even know the secrets of

treating ailments and illnesses with herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

In this book, I hope to make those secrets common knowledge. I’m here to share

with you the road to good health through the freshest of fruits and vegetables. I’ll

share with you what I’ve learned about health and healing with the right foods

grown the right way.

I’ll share with you some of my successes, failures, and insights gained from a

lifetime of gardening. I don’t expect that you can or will grow every fruit and

vegetable mentioned in this book. Most of us simply don’t have the time or space.

But I promise to offer you the secrets of healing with everyday foods available to

everyone close to home.

Back in the early ’70s when I was just out of college, my friends and family

thought I was a little wacky when I started talking about natural healing.

They asked:

·      Why brew a cup of sage tea when it was easier to take a swig of sugar-laden

cough medicine?

·      Why wrap an infected cut with chewed wood sorrel rather than slapping on a

little triple antibiotic from a tube?

·      Why chew a few fennel seeds or drink a cup of peppermint tea rather than

take a Tums?

·      Why compost my kitchen scraps when it is so easy to buy a bag of compost

at the big-box garden center?

·      Why slave away under a hot sun, watering and weeding and battling bugs

and blights, when a juicy tomato was as close as my local farm stand or 


Why? Because all of these remedies and a simple lifestyle contribute to health and

longevity. Even when I was in my twenties, healthy and longevity were my goals. 

Forty years later, they still are.

I’ve gardened all of my life. My earliest memories are of helping my grandmother

weed her garden and gathering perfect roses wet with the morning dew. I’ve

survived short growing seasons and harsh winters in northern New York state near

the Canadian border. I’ve gardened in Asia and Africa, weathering the scorn of

locals for my pitiful and often unsuccessful efforts.

Now I live in the mountains of western North Carolina and my gardens sprawl all

over our one-acre lot. They’re not always neat; in fact, they’re not often neat. My

compost bins are as far from scientific as you can get; nevertheless, I get “black

gold” with the help of Mother Nature and Father Time.

I have my share of garden failures, sometimes due to environmental conditions

beyond my control and more often due to my own shortcomings. And while I don’t

grow every morsel on our plates, in the summer I grow most of our vegetables

and some of our fruit. I preserve a fair amount for winter soups, sauces,

smoothies, and pies. I buy local whenever I can to reduce our pesticide load, 

support local growers, and prevent the pollution associated with huge semis

trucking produce across the country to my local supermarket.

In return, my garden has rewarded me with delicious food, good health, exercise

that I enjoy, and a golden farmer’s tan. My aim in this book is to help you reap

the same rewards. Because when it comes down to it, who could ask for more?


                             ---Kathleen Barnes

                        From Rx From the Garden: 101 Foods Cures You Can Easily Grow

                        Copyright 2011 Adams Media

                             RxFromTheGarden.com     PO Box 1452     Brevard, NC 28712

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