When I reached out to freelancers to share how they are living self-sufficient lives, gardening projects were by far the most popular.
Some were motivated by the onset of COVID-19 and food shortages. Others were just tired of bland store-bought produce and wanted to utilize the newly found free time to grow their own. Some were entirely new to the process and were learning from the community and others were doing it for years and were looking to expand.
The approaches too were so different.
Ephy took an abandoned rocky patch of soul behind his apartment building and completely repurposed it. He found that pumpkins were not picky with their soil and planted those first. After the first harvest, he aims to fertilize the ground to expand the variety of vegetables he can grow.
Bethan left her apartment building and the city all-together and moved to the farm. She learned how to grow a wide variety of produce and cooked fresh and delicious meals along with her community. It’s been 9 months and she has no plans of coming back to her old life.
Amarie did not let novice status prevent her from experimenting. She went straight for building a greenhouse. Her first model did not withstand the storms and she is currently gathering funds to buy a sturdier structure.
All expressed their awe at plants peaking from the soil, the challenge of getting them to just the modest size, and a sense of pride through the whole process.
“It is truly incredible to see life growing in a place where there was nothing.”
For the past several centuries, extractive economies have expanded. We are now hitting hard limits of this type of growth. Gardening is a not a solution that will work for everyone, but for those who chose it, it brings them joy seeing their work have meaning again.