June 29, 2013

Simple Pleasures: Growing Food

Crazy growth! Yumm - organic veggies for next to nothing.

There are not many things I enjoy more than growing food. Nurturing a garden means entering into an intimate relationship with the environment. And what an amazing, loving, giving, abundant relationship it is.

Not only do I enjoy learning to work with nature in order to procure the things I need to live, but I also enjoy being able to do so without the continual exchange of money. Cash is not natural.

The exchange that we enter when we grow our own food utilizes other forms of currency, including respect, reciprocity, and romance. We enter into a love affair with the earth, and we must strive to make sure it is not an abusive relationship.

Sunflowers, beans, kale, strawberries, and one potato plant growing enthusiastically
in a chaos of edible joy

Yesterday I biked the 4 km from home to the community garden to check on the progress of our 4X8 raised bed plot. It had been a few days since my last visit and I was not sure what to expect.

When I arrived I felt like my little bit of soil was throwing a surprise party for me. It was a fiesta of growth celebrating another season of tapping the green fuse.

I harvested a big bag of kale, which allowed the chard more room to stretch out. I tended to the beans which were leaning into the sunflowers which were leaning into the sun. The potato was tamed to benefit the kale, and then everything got a good spray of cool, clean water.

This gives me a wonderful feeling I don't get in the grocery store.

After picking (and eating) some red and juicy strawberries, it was time for the pleasant 4 km ride home with the goodie bag presented to me stuffed in my back pack.

Before I left, as I gazed lovingly into the wild tangle of my garden, I sensed that it is also enjoying this mutually beneficial relationship. It shows its appreciation for my efforts by feeding me for darn near free.

Growing my own food gives me a jolt of pure simple pleasure. I can't think of a better way to spend my time, or of a better relationship to cultivate.

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