it's just not my thing
I don’t think ‘shoulds’ are useful. They are other people’s voices in my head, and only serve to make me feel guilty, insecure or inadequate.
The ‘should’ voice I am disclosing in this post is telling me I should be growing my food.
People in my life, real and virtual, regularly ask me how my vegetable garden is going, and are genuinely surprised that such a gardening addict doesn’t grow her own.
I think this growing your own food trend ☺ is wonderful. I approve it for many reasons. Some of these reasons are:
- people’s health,
- the health of the environment,
- empowerment of communities,
- less dependence on supermarkets,
- people becoming more integrated with nature, even in densely populated cities.
Sustainability activists have influenced urban and suburban developments. There are plans for edible landscapes. Dandenong South and Coburg, both Melbourne suburbs, will soon have housing developments with fruit trees lining the streets. It is envisaged that neighbourhood collectives will organize harvesting and distributing the produce. In a multicultural community there are many different ways of producing and consuming food, and sharing ideas will benefit and enrich the whole community.
Geelong Botanical Gardens contains an edible section, featuring food plants from all over the world.
At an individual level, more and more people are following the trend. People with gardens large and small, balcony gardens, roof gardens, vertical gardens, indoor gardens – are all growing edible plants.
I am not following this trend.
I do grow some fruit – loquats, feijoas, grapes – and some herbs – thyme, parsley, marjoram, rosemary. I select my plants for their aesthetic qualities and for their ability to withstand hot dry summers without water. I know that food plants can be beautiful and even drought resistant too, so why don’t I grow more?
It’s just not my thing, I explained vaguely to an enquiring cousin recently.
Maybe it’s to do with my garden philosophy. My garden is a long-term project. The pleasure is in the constant change and learning. It’s not got a specific goal. Sometimes I get food from it. Sometimes it is stunningly beautiful. Sometimes it isn’t.
My garden just goes on evolving. Actually it is co-evolving, it and me together.