Hey, have you ever thought about growing your own food? At least some of it?
You might think, “we have grocery stores for that these days.” Or, “farming isn’t my thing.” Not that I’m trying to convince you to become a farmer anyway.
Consider this, though; gardening, according to the Genesis creation story, is one of the original jobs given to mankind. Well before man began to write computer programs, to drive trucks, to build buildings, and so on, man was outside tending to fruit and vegetable plants.
These days, only a select few people have jobs related to growing food, and also, only a small group has a garden in the backyard. For the most part, we live isolated from our food. I imagine that if you ask a lot of our kids where a potato comes from, the response may very well be “from the produce section of the grocery store.”
To add, a lot of times, we are even scared of the plants that our food grows on. We are very concerned about the perceived unsanitary environment of the elements that the food grows in, and are only content once the big producers have hosed and sprayed them with chemicals, painted them with wax, and added food coloring to them to make them look ripe (perhaps a future blog post). Man, how far removed we are from the very ground that we are made from!
You might say, “well I don’t have a green thumb…I couldn’t do it.” To counter that, I say to you, if you have a seed and dirt, yes you can. Once you plant a seed or a seedling in the soil, you don’t have to make it grow. It grows by itself! God gives the increase. Yes, some elbow grease is involved to keep the soil healthy, to protect the plant from pests, and to do the harvest work, among other things. But the reward is so great, and so, well, rewarding.
I first learned about gardening from a home garden when I was a kid, as well as from seeing my grandparents garden in the back yard as well. My wife and I have gardened together consistently for going on 4 years now. Each year brings work, new lessons, and more harvest. And even though you might get frustrated for a variety of reasons (birds eating your berries or busting your tomatoes; spinach won’t flourish; squash bugs; stink bugs; caterpillars; too much rain; too little rain; not enough sun), there is something about it that keeps us coming back. There is something about going to check on your garden, picking the first ripe tomato of the season, slicing your tomato to put on a sandwich, and eating it. To add, it tastes better than the gray store tomatoes, and you know exactly where it comes from.
I mean, think of all the potential benefits and perks!
- Fresh produce
- No chemicals (unless you choose to use some)
- Tastes better than the store selection
- Fun to grow (I think so :))
- You can save money (you could even make it so that you don’t need to buy any produce, you know?)
“But I don’t have time for all of that,” you say. “I like the idea, but I can’t always be out tending to a garden.” Well, you know what? Not everything requires high maintenance. I have something for you.
Remember the potato sprouting experiments you did in school? Well, next time you cook sweet potatoes for dinner (around April or so for central Georgia), buy an extra one and get a jar and about 3 toothpicks. Put water in the jar, then put the potato in a jar with the pointy side up, and then place this in a window sill. After several weeks, you will have slips growing out of the sweet potato. Take several of these off, find a big flower pot, a trashcan, or even a 5 gallon bucket, fill with soil, and place several of the slips in the soil a few inches deep. Water occasionally, make sure they are out in the sun, and that’s it.
My own testimony: My wife and I have grown sweet potatoes, among other things, for the past two years. In 2013, we made a potato tower, (similar to one made by Mavis from onehundreddollarsamonth.com), planted the slips, watered every now and then, and then harvested in October.
Can you believe that from that one little potato, and that one little tower, we harvested over 20 lbs of sweet potatoes? Seriously.
So anyway, why don’t you just try it? Grow some of your own food and see what you think. If you have some dirt and some seeds or plants, what are you waiting for?
Do you have a home garden? Comment below!