A Growin’ Garden and Other Musings

I really love this garden; and I mean that with all sincerity. I love it so much so that I’ve had to ask myself ‘why?’. Why has this had such a profound effect on me? Like all introspective inquiries, its difficult to answer objectively, however I think that one of the primary reasons is because the ‘garden’ is a form of protest. It’s protesting the industrial agricultural system and it’s protesting the dominant culture’s view that our front yards have little value beyond their aesthetic utility. It hasn’t produced much to eat, except a few greens, but there have been a number of ‘unintended benefits’. We spend a lot of time talking about ‘unintended consequences’ but little time on the ‘unintended benefits’.                                

Here are a few:

  • Food knowledge
  • A sense of action
  • Community connection

Look how far we’ve come

What’s the value of growing our own food? Does anyone have data on the amount of Carbon that’s saved by growing your own green beans vs. buying a can from the grocery store? What about a sense of action? How do you quantify the sense of action and self-satisfaction that one feels by doing something that, if scaled globally, could radically change our health and connection to the source of life? How do you put a price on engaging with your neighbors about the garden’s purpose? Or sharing knowledge about what’s happening with curious young people? What choices will they make as a result of those discussions? How will it affect their consciousness? I don’t know and I doubt if I could accurately estimate any of those ‘unintended benefits’, but they make it worth while and that’s probably why I love it so.                                                                           

Questions or comments? Please email me at evan@normansustainability.org 

Until next time,

ev

1 Comment

  1. John Rushton

    Thank you Evan! Growing a garden is so important! It is the first step on a very long journey towards reconnection with the source of our sustenance. To gain these unintended benefits, though, it must be done consciously. Permaculture design principle #1: Observe and Interact. This principle eventually forms a continuous feedback loop that can lead to all sorts of unexpected places.

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