I’ll concede that agriculture and gardening isn’t really a part of Paleolithic life. However, it became a major part of how I follow Paleo and the Primal Blueprint this fall.
In The Primal Blueprint, Mark Sisson provides ten guidelines to living primally and achieving good health.
- Eat lots of animals, insects and plants.
- Move around a lot at a slow pace
- Lift heavy things
- Run really fast every once in a while
- Get lot’s of sleep
- Get some sunlight every day
- Avoid trauma
- Avoid poisonous things
- Use your mind
Either growing your own food has become the eleventh, or it provides a synergy of many of the ten.
Eat Lots of Plants
I’ve eaten everything I can out of my garden this fall, and took good advantage of my fruit trees and plants last Summer. Beyond being a supply for eating, growing your own food forces you to acknowledge food is seasonal and that it isn’t natural to have a heavily seasonal fruit like Strawberries or Peaches all year long.
Non-seasonal, fresh availability of many fruits and vegetables is a fairly recent innovation. It’s one made possible through improved supply chains for moving from farm to store, and more indoor or alternative growing. But I think that eating all of these fruits out of season frequently causes something to change in our bodies – and certainly provides a higher sugar level than our ancestors 100-200 years ago would have had in their diets. Coupled with shorter winter days (and lower activity levels) I could see this as a path to weight gain.
Move Around at a Slow Pace and Lifting Heavy Things
When I built the boxes for my fall garden, I moved more than thirty bags of top soil each weight forty pounds. When I added chicken manure as a fertilizer, that was another 200 pounds. All of these were moved the fifty yards from my driveway on my shoulder, one or two bags at a time. It was a great, low speed but intense workday.
Get Lots of Sleep
It’s what happens after you plant.
There’s something reminiscent about using your hands to dig in the soil, plant seeds, and work around the plants. It definitely reminds you of being young and playing in the dirt or a sandbox!
Get Some Sunlight Every Day
Through the course of harvesting the food, watering and maintaining the garden – I spend some time in the garden almost everyday. I’ve noticed getting outdoors in daylight helps get my body clock oriented and helps me to be tired when the sun does finally go down.
Avoiding Trauma and Poisonous Things
Not sure about these two!
Use Your Mind
I did a lot of planning for growing this fall – and equally will plan more for the spring and summer.