Thursday, 20 January 2011
Why don't more people grow vegetables?
I think that our disconnection from the Earth is a worldwide problem. There are few that know where their food comes from and there are few that understand how they rely on soil, air and water cycles. They would rather believe that the city supports their life.
I think that a mystique has been built up around growing that clouds gardening in a cloak of old wives tails and misunderstandings. Plants do not go out of their way to die. On the contrary, they will struggle through drought, extreme temperatures, and pests, while growing in the poorest soils.
We just have to tease out what helps plants to live and grow and this is not difficult. Many of the best growers I know are self taught or learnt from watching their parents and grandparents. Why are so many people afraid of failing to produce good crops? Nobody bothers except the gardener. It would be more of a problem if this was the only food that you were relying on. But, if it goes wrong, you can always nip down to the nearest supermarket and buy vegetables.
And this might be the crux of the problem. People don't grow their own fruit and vegetables because they don't have to. They can buy sterile, over packaged, tasteless, chemically grown vegetables that are easy to prepare so they do not bother growing their own. Why even cook when you can get over processed, out of season, chemically enhanced fast food.
They are denying themselves the immense pleasure of cooking and tasting vegetables that have been cropped minutes before. The enjoyment is increased when you know where the food you are eating has come from and the effort it has taken to produce it.
I am off to make parsnip and apple soup. Parsnips were dug out of the allotment garden earlier today. Apples are from the store shed. Lovely jubbly...