This week I have to change my diet to a low fiber one since I will be getting a colonoscopy. I know it is a bit off topic when I consider this is a blog about growing food on an urban lot. But is it really? We live in a modern world where medicine is advancing at a rapid rate each day, week or month. People are living with all kinds of diseases that used to be a death sentence; even cancer today is one that people can survive from and live with as a chronic disease. There are pills created each year to help our bodies keep running smoothly.

They instruct you about 5 days before your colonoscopy to stop eating popcorn, berries, nuts, and seeds. You can't eat any raw vegetables, whole grains, and absolutely NO legumes. There are even more restrictions which I am not going to list here, but trust me it does not leave me with much to eat. I have to do this procedure since colon cancer deaths are among some of my relatives on my Father's side. I am grateful for this type of screening but to tell you the truth, it is miserable to not be able to eat the life-giving foods I count on for health.


My food is my medicine. I have been trying for the past decade to use the food I grow or purchase from local or regional organic farmers throughout the United States to heal my body. I am continually educating myself about the benefits of whole foods for healing. I keep adding new plants to my Urban Potager to grow each year. It amazes me how wise many of our ancestors were that came to this country. Many of them were not as educated as people are today.They brought many old world traditions and seeds with them in their pockets. If not for these foods, I doubt many of them would have survived the new country they discovered. Their food was their medicine.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

― Hippocrates

We all have a lot of stress from living in this fast-paced world. It just clicks along, and there are days you wonder how do I get through another day. We collapse in our beds at night and all this connectedness leaves us with very little quiet time. The noise from this world can be a bit much at times. I find growing food and hanging out in nature equips me with the ability to stay pretty stress-free. When did you last HEAR a bird sing? Took the time to watch butterflies flying around your garden? When was the last time you unplugged and went outside to just bask in the sun or sit under a tree? You know like you did as a kid. When time was something you filled with curiosity.


We all need to start looking to our food as "medicine" rather than something to shove into our mouths and race off to do the next task. I am not saying you have to become obsessive about everything you put in your mouth. Just switching food choices out or learning to cook more of our own meals at home can make a difference in our overall health.

Get out there in the soil in your backyard, side yard, or growing in pots and get dirty. Try to grow some of your own food. If you work all day in an office take some time to get outside in the evening when you come home. You can grow some plants in pots on your porch. Create a place to sit away from your computer, cell phone or our constant negative TV news.


It is 18 yrs since we moved to our home here on 35th street and back then I  dreamed of finally having room to grow a kitchen garden. Initially, all I wanted back in 1999 was a simple kitchen garden.  I had no idea my journey would take me to adding dwarf fruit trees, bushes and tearing up all my lawn. I would say my diet 18 yrs ago was nothing like the one I eat every day today. I have changed what I am eating by what I can grow and purchase. I have learned so much from having my hands in the soil on my city lot.

This 'low fiber" diet for 5 days is something I NEVER in my life expected would be such a challenge. I had no idea these foods were so crucial to my overall well-being. Growing food changes you; when you spend time outside growing some of your own food you connect to the soil and the world our ancestors brought with them many generations ago. It really does matter what we put in our bodies, and we are more connected to the earth than we ever realized.

It will be more evident in the future how connected we are to nature. All this 24/7 information is pushing us to overload. It is showing up in our health as we age in this culture. I believe we were created to have our hands in the earth and be apart of the natural world around us. Too many people are so disconnected to where their food comes from or spend even 5 minutes outside. Anxieties are on the increase today. Did you know that soil holds a bacteria that is more powerful than Prozac? Yes, it is. You can read my post (here) about Prozac 

I present a goal for us all in 2018. Let's get outside and get dirty! Yep, get our hands in the soil and start growing something, anything it will make a difference in your health.You will see the changes!

Published by Robbie Palm