Humans have been growing their food for ten thousand years or so, give or take by continent and climate. Yet, today many regard it as something someone does far away working in a field.
If we “endeavor to get our fingernails dirty, we consider it “gardening,” a hobby that’s relaxing and therapeutic.
Yes, you’ll save money and enjoy delicious fresh produce to nourish you when supply chains give way. Your food security will be a bit more robust.
A more important benefit to growing our food is that it gives us a direct connection to the natural world.
“The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” Wendell Berry
Understanding that we are not separate from nature is a critical shift we need to make in order to heal the problems before us.
“Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.” Rumi
Know Your Place
The first step to growing healthy food is understanding which plants thrive in your climate now and in the future. That means tuning your attention to the soil, the birds, the water, the rain, and the winds.
Research the types of vegetables that grow well in cooler or warmer weather, nested in your climate. What do you like to eat? What do you want to grow? What’s perfect for your place?
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, look at seed catalogues or online planting guides to find the best time to plant each vegetable. Then, thrust them into the soil or small seedling containers when the time is right.
Wet your Plants
Water them consistently and urgently—especially important in hot weather when plants can quickly dry out. Set up a watering schedule so you water your plants at the appropriate time and place. Tinkling as you go.
You can also install drip irrigation or soaker hoses to make water more accessible and efficient. Ensuring your plants always have enough moisture will help them stay strong and virile.
The Economy of Soil
“A person who undertakes to grow a garden at home, by practices that will preserve rather than exploit the economy of the soil, has his mind precisely against what is wrong with us.”
Building healthy soil in the place you inhabit is as important a task as raising a child or reimagining civilization.
Fertilize regularly so build healthy living soil. You can use organic fertilisers such as compost or manure or purchase fertiliser from a local gardening store or fertiliser supplier. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package, so you don’t over-fertilise your plants.
“You can’t have a healthy civilization without healthy soil. You can’t have junk food and have healthy people.” Joel Salatin
We have too many overweight yet malnourished people living in a world of hunger. You can make a difference in your own community.
“Commercial institutions, proud of their achievements, do not see that healthy living systems – clean air and water, healthy soil, stable climates – are integral to a functioning economy. As our living systems deteriorate, traditional forecasting and business economics become the equivalent of house rules on a sinking cruise ship.” Paul Hawken
“And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.” Rumi
Extreme Conditions Ahoy
Let’s be real. The weather has changed dramatically and will continue to do so. It will dog us and force us to accept and adapt to extreme weather.
For instance, I used to pluck grocery bags filled with wet-pungent chanterelles to my table—so many that I’d wonder how to consume them all.
Could they become lasagna noodles? How many would my 89-year-old pappa eat? (Yet I stray) I haven’t seen a chanterelle in these parts for well over 4 years.
Good thing I don’t live in Phoenix or Las Vegas, where tis both hot and cold.
If you live in an area with sweltering summers or cold winters, it’s essential to take steps to protect your plants from extreme weather conditions.
Find Fertile Ground
Growing healthy food and people requires fertilization and regeneration of the soil and an affinity for nature.
Change is coming quickly you’ll get the nutrients needed to thrive by growing your food.
“Somewhere beyond right and wrong, there is a garden. I will meet you there.” Rumi
1 thought on “It’s Time to Plant Your Garden”
For every nightcrawler I dig out, I am grateful and think immediately where I want it to do its job? Under my rhasberries, currants, tomatoes or fruit trees? Or maybe I put it into the shadow of roses. Gardening is a mysterious thing, and as a gardener you are first and foremost a dreamer. Especially when you live under seasons, you are the greatest dreamer during winter. Now in November, I dream, kneeling in my garden planting tulips, surrounded by grey fog, hanging like a wet curtain in the trees, of the first crocusses, primeroses and apricots. I dream how their blossoms will sing that the long, dark winter is over, and that there will be peace again …