Gardening is about more than just old ladies tottering in the back yard or suburbanites growing special tomatoes and odd herbs for the kitchen. Gardening has five distinct advantages that everyone can enjoy – in both good times and bad. Plus,the usual excuses for gardening are all just excuses – anyone can garden anywhere,no matter where they live.
Don’t believe me? OK,then,here are
5 Reasons to Garden
1 – A nice,productive,lush garden is recession proof,inflation proof,and collapse proof.
Question:if the economy collapses tomorrow,how long will you be able to eat without a grocery store? A week? A month? A year? Most “survivalists” have somewhere around a year’s supply of food. Once the year is up,then what? Ever try eating canned food and MREs for more than a couple of days? Hope you brought your laxatives.
If the economy collapses tomorrow,I’ll be annoyed. A couple of months down the road,I’ll be really unhappy because I’ll be out of cheese and I really love cheese,but don’t have a way to make it myself (yet). What I won’t be is hungry or eating most of my food out of a can or (God forbid) a green pouch. I’ll be eating green vegetables,fresh eggs,and more. Why? Because I garden.
2 – It’s healthy.
Question:do you exercise and if so,do you do so in a healthy way? Most people exercise either in an unhealthy way (i.e. a lot of impact exercises like running) or not at all. Did you know that gardening is almost all low-impact and that forty-five minutes in the average garden is the same as thirty minutes doing light aerobics? Plus you end up with healthy food when you’re done,unlike what you get from that weight set which is high in iron but has no fiber.
3 – It reduces stress.
Question:do you stress about the end of the world? WWIII? Obama getting re-elected? Well,shove your hands into the dirt because psychologists and other quacks all agree that gardening is stress reducing. While this may or may not be true scientifically,I know from personal experience that gardening makes this red headed man feel happier. Trust me,keeping red headed people happy is paramount to survival.
4 – It requires discipline and patience.
Question:how disciplined are you (really) and do you (actually) have patience? Are you capable of doing something everyday,week after week,without fail? Are you content to look at something,think about it for a while,wait for a week,and then do something about it? Most Americans are borderline or outright attention deficit. We’ve grown up in a society where nearly everything is rewarded with instant gratification. Turn on the TV,you have a bojillion channels to choose from;want a sandwich and the shop down the street makes you one in five minutes;need pizza and it’ll be there in half an hour.
Not so much with the garden. I have literally watched beans grow. Not because it’s entertaining in the same way that,say,an episode of Pawn Stars is,but because I can look at the little bean plant and see what it used to be,what it is now,and what it will likely be and then be surprised when it does or doesn’t turn out that way in a month. It’s like watching a movie in slow-mo. Only most of the sound track involves birds and a breeze. Way better than an hour wasted watching crap like House MD.
5 – God wills it and has commanded it.
Question:what has God told you to do with your time,no matter what your religion might be? Is it:a) kill people who don’t believe in your religion,the only TRUE religion;b) recruit other people to join your religion,which is the only TRUE religion,and then get them to kill people who won’t be recruited;or c) garden?
I’ve read a lot of religious texts. When I was a teenager,I went through one of those “searching” phases where you look for the meaning of life and some kind of religion to match it. In every religious text out there,God (or the Gods,as the case may be) talks about gardening.
In fact,in most of them,including the Judea-Christian and Eastern philosophies,there is more talk about gardening and growing things (both literally and by metaphor) than there is about wars,attacking people who are of a different religion,fighting with evil people/entities,and that sort of thing. Of course,those parts are more interesting to people who run their lives entirely through the hypothalamus,so they get all of the attention. But really,most religions stress gardening in one way or another. They’re full of references to tilling the earth,reaping the harvest,sowing seeds,and the like. Which is why most religions claim to be peaceful while at the same time they are busy hacking off the limbs of their enemies.
5 Ways You Could Be Gardening NOW
So now that you know that gardening is economy-proof,healthy,stress-reducing,character-building,and that God has commanded that you do it,let’s look at how you can do it. No excuses. I don’t care if you live in an apartment or a 50 acre plantation,you can grow a damn garden.
1 – Containers rock.
If just reading the title of this bit doesn’t tell you everything you need to know,I’ll spell it out. No matter where you live (even in prison),you have a window somewhere where you can put a potted plant. Even the pot doesn’t have to be traditional. Most of my containers are old buckets,Big Gulp cups,2-liter bottles cut in two,etc. All you need is a container that will hold soil. Shove some seeds or a seedling in there and BAM you’re gardening.
2 – 20 square feet starts.
If you have 20 square feet (10?x 2?) of space,you can grow a garden with a respectable yield. 20 square feet means you have 20 1-foot sections in which you can grow 2-5 plants each. It’s called “compact” or “square foot” gardening and it’s a great way to grow a lot of stuff in a small area.
3 – Raised beds mean no weeding.
Now let’s say you have 100 square feet. Cordon it off with six to twelve inch boards or raise the soil into little plateaus to make raised beds. Guess what? With raised beds,you don’t have to worry about the number one problem with most gardens:soil drainage. They drain automatically. Sweet! Plus,you have fewer weeds and if you’re using square foot gardening methods,you’ll have almost no weeds. Weeding is the number one lame excuse people give for not gardening.
4 – No expensive tools required.
You can garden and feed your family,literally,without any power tools and with only 3 basic hand tools. So for about $50 in quality tools,you have everything you need. Sell some silver and get a shovel,a hoe,and a rake. Trust me,they’ll be well worth it. Personally,I’d sell all that gold you’re hoarding and buy a lot of tools to stash away instead,but that’s because I’m a practical hands-on type,not a long-winded economist.
5 – Less is more.
Whatever the size of your available space for gardening,you can get more out of it if you use less of it to start with than you think you’ll need. If you have 10 acres,plant only one. If you have three south or east facing windows,use only two. Why? Because that will force you to fully utilize that space you’ve allotted. If you use all of it at once,you’ll somehow find that you are out of space or aren’t getting as much out of it as you’d thought you would. Smaller is better because it makes you appreciate things more. Sort of like when you buy the Honda instead of the Mercedes. Except in that case,you got a car that won’t break down all the time,so I guess I should have used the Ford vs. Mercedes analogy,but you get the point.
Gardening:it’s the best way to be prepared for when the SHTF.