As a child, I grew up in a rural area. My mother and father had a 1/2 acre plot adjacent to our house that was planted year round with vegetables and fruit. We had a winter garden, a spring garden, a fall garden and summer garden. In winter time we had fresh spinach, blueberries, and sweet peas. In spring we had all sorts of berries. Summer brought round any variety of beans and melons. In fall we enjoyed pumpkins and squash of all shapes and sizes.

Many of our neighbors, if you could really call them neighbors, they actually lived miles away, but, I digress… Many of our neighbors also had gardens. Some had orchards. We all grew more than we could use and often would skip over to a neighbor’s garden and pick something they were growing that we were lacking. So, we went over to the Norman’s and got a bushel or two of peaches in the summertime. In the fall I liked to pedal over to Mr. Waller’s house and gather up a bag full of potatoes. When I visited my best friend, her father would usually send home a bag full of peanuts. Everyone had a garden.

My grandfather also gardened faithfully. I can’t count how many times my family and I would pull into his driveway and see him out in the garden, his sleeves rolled up and his hat on his head to ward off the sun. Side by side I picked cucumbers, strawberries, green beans and cantaloupe with my grandfather.

Now, as an adult, I, too, have a garden. I don’t have a lush half acre spread, though. A city-dweller, I have to make do with what I can grow in containers on my front patio and side balcony. I have strawberries, mint, bell pepper, tomatoes, onions, and various herbs for cooking, teas and natural remedies. I am carrying on the time honored tradition of my ancestors.

However, one thing I have never seen growing in any garden is meat. Yes, you know, T-bone steak or chicken breast or a tuna filet. Those I have never seen growing in any garden anywhere. That, however, may very well change very soon. I know, it sounds crazy. But that is exactly where technology is taking us. The days of cows in barns and chickens in coops may all be over. Scientist have discovered how to “grow” meat, or, at least, meatballs.

Vegetarians can jump for joy. Advocates against animal cruelty will have to find other causes. Now, at least at a place called Memphis Meats, scientists are growing and harvesting meatballs. And it truly is real meat. Apparently, according to reviews from consumers, it is delicious and tastes like it came “right off the bone” rather than out of a petri dish. A cardiologist even considers it a healthier version of the real McCoy because growing it in a dish rather than on a farm eliminates all that nasty fatty stuff.

Everyone wins! A healthier, tasty meat that is produced entirely cruelty-free and with a minimal environmental footprint. I think I’m sold.

How do they do it? Well, they cultivated meat cells from real, traditionally raised meat. They fed the cells oxygen and necessary nutrients. Depending on what kind of meat they were growing, one week or three weeks later, VOILA! Real meat ready to eat! Because it originated from real meat, what is grown is molecularly and cellularly identical to whatever meat it came from. Basically, it’s a small scale clone.

Now meat can be produced that solves a host of problems. Environmental damage? Solved! Increased heart disease risk? Solved! Antibiotic laced meat? Solved! Meat contaminated with pathogens? Solved! Farm animal cruelty? Solved! What’s not to love about this meat?!