This site is not meant to about me, it’s really all about you. Still I’d like to share with you one of my first experiences with growing food. I think you can relate to it somehow.
We were living in our first home together, it was an appartement right above the mall. We had a small balcony, that looked out unto a large office where telemarketers worked all day. I was expecting our first kid, and I was in desperate need of some distraction.
So I decided I would grow some vegetables. I had ZERO experience with growing things, so it wasn’t unexpected when I got some raised eyebrows when I shared my ambitious plan.
I ordered some seeds and got started anyway. I remember thinking: “How hard can it be?” I bought some too expensive organic potting soil and sowed a generous amount of seeds in the pots I had prepared. I had radishes, carrots and tomatoes.
I remember looking at tiny, odd-shaped radishes thinking: “This is not what they look like in the store..”
The carrots were the same story. They were so tiny.. and they just didn’t get bigger. I did taste a few, they tasted like carrots.. but I could barely chew them. The tomatoes were the only plants that got some result. Unfortunately someone forgot to water them when we were away, so most of them died. In the end I had one little reddish tomato, but I was honestly a little afraid to eat it.
So why am I telling you this?
I know, this story is not a real advocate for growing your own food. The reason why I share it with you, is because I know there are a lot of reasons to not grow you own food. I faced them myself: Inexperience, lack of social support, having no clue whatsoever..
But I would like to insist upon you that even though things can go a bit wrong:
It’s totally worth it.
Let me quickly share with you 3 important reasons to start growing your own food anyway:
#1. Food is the ultimate reward
We cannot deny many thousand years of human history. Even though it is now completely normal to go the store and buy food, it hasn’t been that way for a long, long, loooong time. We had to work for it! Studies have shown that when we see, smell or harvest a vegetable or fruit our brain releases dopamine. This gives us a natural ‘high’, making us feel happy.
Growing food really makes you happy. It’s hard to describe the joy you feel when almost suddenly your plants are full with bright red tomatoes just waiting to be picked. Or imagine the smell and the feeling when you can harvest bowls full of juicy, aromatic strawberries. So even though growing food can be a challenge sometimes, food really is the ultimate reward.
#2. Gardening is a skill for survival
When it really comes down to it. I would rather know how to grow my own food, than set the record for the most party balloons inflated through the nose (which is 328 in 1 hour by the way). Okay, that’s a silly joke. Really, gardening is a skill for survival. It can help you save money and provide for yourself and your family in times of economic difficulties.
Plus, it’s probably the cheapest insurance you can find.
#3. You are not alone
Looking back on my first encounter with growing food, I know that if only someone told me a few basic principles, the outcome would have been 10 times better.
That’s the great thing about the internet and this site. Like Michael Jackson already told you: “You are not alone.”
There are a lot of people to tell you those few principles to make your first garden a success. They can answer your questions, inspire you to try new things, they can cry with you when some of your hard work seems to fail and they can encourage you to keep going.
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The skill to grow food used to be something that generations would pass on to each other. Unfortunately something went wrong there. It’s time to set things right, together.
Please share the reasons that keep YOU from growing and how we can help!