Thursday, April 23, 2015

Urban Farmers

Although I have a back yard big enough to grow a lot of produce for my daughter and me, I simply do not have the time or the inclination to go hog wild at the moment.

I can always “go there” if I want to.

I do believe that growing one's own food is a virtue and a desirable skill.

I took the manageable route of container gardening as my first step back into farming.

As a kid and a teenager, I had a prodigious garden in the back yard of a house in Wasco, California where I grew up. Heck, I even raised chickens when I was a freshman/sophomore in high school.

Over time, I fell out of practice. 

Getting back into practice with anything is a process of manageable steps.

I love container gardening.

One container has a beefsteak tomato plant. Another has Roma tomatoes. I have both Japanese and regular eggplant in two other containers. I have a cucumber plant as well. Peppers and rosemary share a galvanized tub that went leaky, so it was repurposed as a planter.

I also have four moringa oleifera plants, a lemon tree (in container), and a lime tree (ditto). The latter are finally mature enough to put in the ground.

My advice to everyone is to grow something you can eat. It is a good feeling.

Start somewhere.

Apartment dwellers can farm.

Anyone can.

You don’t have to farm for the apocalypse, but learning to garden in small steps means that if there came a time when our society resets to agrarian times, you would have some knowledge of what to do.

I think front-yard gardens are beyond stupid.

While they can be made to be aesthetically pleasing—neighborhoods should be—most would not be, but more importantly, why would you want to do all the work of growing food only to have it so easily stolen?

Moreover, a front-yard garden screams prepper and being the gray neighbor is thrown out the window.

I have a long, broad sidewalk from my driveway to my front door and all of my container gardens are out front. I have decorative plantings so that from the street, my container gardening is not obvious.


My operation is tiny in scale, so even if someone were to take it all, I am not sidelined.

Walking past my containers every morning and every evening cheers my heart and soul that I am doing something to survive and prosper.

This summer, I am planning to rip out trees in my back yard and replace them with fruit bearing trees.

I am planning to plant between them, vegetable plants next season.

I am planning to grow into growing for the wellbeing of my daughter and me.

The bottom line is that I feel more grounded (down-to-earth) by prepping and reactivating old-but-not-forgotten skill sets.

In the end, if my home produce becomes too much for me to consume, I may cook and freeze or can to stockpile food, or give it away to family and friends along with opening the discussion about self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and prepping.

Start gardening.

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