As you flip through your Facebook, your Instagram feed, maybe your LinkedIn feed, you might occasionally find something that inspires you? Makes you want to step out and take action? Well, for me, today was another one of those days. I honestly wish that was every day! But anyway, I really wanted to share with you all what I saw this morning that really inspired me.
I lived in a community for many years, and in that community one of the things we used to do was grow our own organic food together. It was unbelievably amazing really. I have often thought to myself since I was no longer living that kind of life how nice it would be to somehow find a way to grow some of my own food again. Definitely, there are some things that are just a lot easier to manage when you’re doing it as a community. Today, a friend of mine who lives in California shared over her Facebook some amazingly beautiful pictures of some fresh vegies that they have growing in their garden. It honestly got my heart racing they were just so beautiful! It definitely got those deep inner “green thumb” genes stirred up. But what was I going to do with that? Well, I thought to myself, “You should look into getting involved in your local community garden?”
I remember one time years back when I was traveling around, and I ended up passing through Canberra, and in the center of one of Canberra’s southern suburbs, a local church community operated a community garden that had been built inside an old tennis court (which as you could imagine provided it with a really neat fence). Every time I find little pockets of communal horticulture happening, it sets my heart racing, and some kind of deep “paradise nostalgia” stirs. Don’t we all want to get ourselves back to the Garden?
A Freshness Unmatched
Once you know what a home-grown tomato tastes like, honestly, its really hard to go back to the store-bought stuff. And that is just one type of vegetable. Pumpkins, zucchinis, cucumbers, fresh salad greens, beans! Just about anything that you could imagine or buy at Woolies, there’s probably a time of year when you could look at growing it all yourself! Now I don’t know where you’re living right now, but I’ve been living up here in Queensland for nearly two years, and really, even in winter it isn’t that far different from springtime in even some other parts of Australia! (I used to live in the Blue Mountains for a few years, and you get a pretty heavy frost occasionally and rarely even a little snow, but I’ve never seen anything like that here in Queensland!) So really, I kept dreaming to myself, if only I could figure out a way.
I had even imagined maybe I could try to build a little garden in my backyard, but I’m renting, and really there isn’t much of a backyard anyway. Of course, I could try some kind of planter boxes, or whatever (my place has a nice veranda area out back, and I’m living in the upstairs of our little two-storey house). But somehow, in spite of all my good thoughts and intentions, it just never really seemed workable.
But today, after just a few moments of inspiration, really, I finally looked it up, and there is a community garden that is actually not that far from where I go to University! I can even volunteer some and I get to grow stuff there for free, or for just $25 for an annual membership, I actually will get to use their resources to create something neat. Nothing is set in stone yet, but I’m definitely planning to visit them one Saturday soon (they actually gather there on Saturday afternoons for a community time, though once I belong to it, it is open for my use every day of the week).
Getting Your Hands Dirty
So, I just remember the joy that could be experienced from just getting your hands in the soil, digging around, planting your tended little seedlings and watering them in. And then diligently coming by to weed the patch, to give your little babies their best chance at growing to maturity and bearing whatever fruit they were meant to bear (or just let them get really leafy and juicy, such as silver beets or lettuces).
Oh, the more I think about getting back to the Garden, growing nasturtiums and adding the colourful, zesty flowers to my salads, I just want to get into it! Did your grandma have a little vegie garden? Or maybe your mum or dad? Really, if you have anything like that, then as you think about the garden, do these really nice vibes come back, like the simple joy and pleasure of childhood?
Doing It Together with Others
Definitely, doing it together with others of similar passion will be so great, and really, the kind of folks who are willing to get down and grow stuff can often be really down-to-earth and heartfelt people. I’m really looking forward to meeting up with the people from Salisbury Community Garden, and getting to see the folk that I could become a member of there. And really it will be an awesome thing to be together with others, learn together with others something that really is so valuable to know. In this world of technology and complexity, at the end of the day, we still all do need to eat, and knowing how to grow your own food is such a valuable skill to know.
Beyond all of this, which really I’m hoping that I’m communicating with you at least a fraction of the joy and excitement and hope of fulfillment that I’m trying to pass on… Beyond all of this, I’m thinking too in the back of my mind to the key to my philosophy – “doing more with less.” If I consider even now, with the simple and healthy diet that I’ve managed to curate for myself – my fresh green breakfast smoothies (imagine that with fresh greens that I’ve grown myself?), my rice and lentils with roast vegies, broccoli and onions (even some of that, it is plausible I could grow for myself too…), even with all that streamlining and efficiency, nothing can compare to the value of growing your own organic food.
There are ways that you can take care of your soil that your food will be growing in that will exponentially increase the levels of nutrients, minerals and vitamins that you’d be getting from your food. You really can’t put a price on that! At that point, it is just those few hours in my week that I’d be devoting to caring and cultivating, that would need to be taken into account. But really I can honestly imagine even on a financial basis alone, the cost-benefit analysis would definitely fall in favour of me growing my own food.
Think about it…
So anyway, I’m not actually doing this yet. I’ve just been dreaming about it for a while, but now finally with so many other simple but profound things falling into place in my life, I’m getting the feeling that its time to get back to the Garden. And so, really, I’m thinking too that by sharing this preliminary article with you, and sharing my thoughts and feelings about this, it will all the more cement in me the desire to go ahead, so I can actually share with you a report of getting this going.
But beyond all of this, I really want to inspire all you, my readers, that taking hold of your time and your energy and investing it towards something really wholesome and healthy is an awesome thing to consider doing. To the time when I can share with you pictures of my garden and a full report, till then!