By Steve Mills
When I bought my house just over four years ago, the area behind the back shed was an absolute mess. There were weeds taller than I am, an old incinerator and rusty pieces of discarded metal poking out of the ground and out from under piles of rubbish.
Although I had never gardened much before (you tend to only do the bare minimum when renting), I saw this overlooked and mistreated piece of land as the perfect place to start a veggie garden. It got plenty of sun, I could catch water from the shed roof for a rain tank, and the weeds obviously loved it, so I supposed carrots, potatoes and tomatoes would as well.
It took me a few weekends, but I eventually cleared the area, made garden beds, set up a compost bin and I was on my way. Over the past 4 years, having a vegetable garden has given me such knowledge and enjoyment, things that I would not have ever thought of. It is one of the most basic things we can do to feel some kind of connection to nature and the seasons.
Most people growing up in today’s society have absolutely no idea what goes into the planting, growth and care of some of the most common things that we eat each day. By becoming so disconnected from the way our food is produced, we lose perspective of the vast amount of resources that must go into feeding the 6 billion plus denizens of our planet.
Another benefit is that you get to taste what real food should taste like, and not the factory farmed, tasteless and artificially ripened versions that they sell at the local supermarket. Growing your own food is an empowering thing, and a skill that more people should have.
The list of benefits goes on. There is a sense of community when you share the surplus that you have grown with your friends and neighbors. There are fewer relaxing, Zen like moments than the time taken of an evening to go out and water your plants.
Hey, so i know this posts sounds like an advertisement for ‘Gardeners Warehouse’ or something, but seriously, find a patch of land, or even a pot that you can plant something in and give it a go. You will be surprised at the results.
Image by Laura & Garrett