Displaced Geek

Just a city geek and father coming to terms with being replanted in farm country

Things I’ve learned about gardening:

About a month ago I saw a post on r/gardening that addressed pretty much everything I was planning on writing in a first post.
Rather than recreate the wheel, I stole it:

  • It gives you another sense of time that spans past months and gives you a real appreciation for the seasons that other people won’t have.
  • You will actually take notice of the weather. You’ll notice when it rains and can remember off the top of your head when it last rained. You’ll even be able to recall how much or how hard.
  • When you get up in the morning to have your coffee, you will go outside and check all your plants in turn, and gradually you’ll begin to get a feel for the minute details that indicate that the plant needs more water, needs more shade, or what stage it’s at in terms of fruition, all like some kind of biological twitter feed. This will be immensely satisfying for you.
  • It gives you a personal relationship with food; and you will actually pay attention to the taste of what you’re eating rather than just shovelling it into your mouth.
  • Gives you the unique insight that freshly picked anything is 1000x more tasty and interesting than store bought anything; you will truly taste tomato for the first time in your life.
  • You get to see the world from a new point of view (a plants point of view). You’ll see them adapt to the local environmental conditions in ingenious ways; for instance my chilli plants form more
    aerodynamically shaped leaves compared to those grown inside and are far more bushy.
  • Humans have had agriculture for thousands and thousands of years; we’re wired to do it. By growing things you’re tapping into an otherwise forgotten instinct. Growing things is just plain good for the soul and wonderful for your mental well-being.
  • By growing things, you’re inserting yourself into the local ecosystem; you’ll get to watch as bees dutifully pollinate your plants, insects will come to eat them and other insects will eat those insects, and dragonflies fight over the highest perch. All because you set up some real estate for them. All life needs to flourish is for one of us meddling humans to plant a few seeds.
  • Look at the pile of biomass you made. All of that took carbon, and that carbon came from the atmosphere. And you took it out of the air. Good for you!

All this is true, and more. I am far more in tune with my plants and the weather than I was even when I was gardening in the city in pots. You sort of have to be. I can make a decent argument for the benefits of a decent hoe as an investment, and the politics of hybridization and genetically modified food crops. These are things I never expected to be a part of my life at all, and yet now they’re as secondhand to me as the best walking route between two points in the city at any given time of day.


Credit where credit is due.


Written by Peter

June 12, 2011 at 1856

Posted in Gardening

Tagged with ,

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