Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the city. Plus, you get strawberries.
~~ Ron Finley
Hello all! In honor of Mother’s Day, I spent the weekend planting a crazy organic garden, playing in the dirt. I planted about 60 or so cucumbers, aka Pickle Seeds. I planted an equally ridiculous amount of tomatoes and assorted other edibles… Some peppers, more salad greens, tons of sunflower seeds and a variety of other things. The garlic I planted last fall is coming up like crazy, the herbs are on full display and things are blooming like a veritable Garden of Eden out there. I had fresh salads all winter long from a cold frame that survived snow, ice and weeks of frigid temps. Last year 9 people ate out of our little city yard. It’s a revolution!
Gardening is therapy for me, but it’s more than that, at many levels. It’s about going against a tide of perception, a cultural rule, that says it is not OK to really take care of yourself. It’s about the fact that to really take time for yourself, not work so hard, be gentle with self, others and earth is to start a revolution. It’s also acknowledgment of what a radical, spiritual act it is to make your landscape edible, to grow something from a tiny seed that can feed you, and countless others, months later. It’s an act of communion with the earth, and a means of resistance to a system that says you must be dependent on people you do not even know for all of your food choices. It’s also a spiritual act to take part in an activity that has sustained us for generations. It’s good stuff.
I thought about this video while I was planting, and wanted to share it. Ron Finley is a professional clothing designer for athletes. He lives in South Central LA and is also known as a Guerilla Gardener. He envisions a world where gangstas garden, where cool kids know their nutrition and where communities embrace the act of growing, knowing and sharing the best of the earth’s fresh-grown food. As part of this effort, Ron is planning to build an urban garden in South Central LA that will serve as an example of a well-balanced, fruit-and-veggie oasis – called “HQ.” Inspired by the idea of turning unused space such as parkways and vacant lots into fruitful endeavors, this garden and gathering place will be a community hub, where people learn about nutrition and join together to plant, work and unwind. HQ will create a myriad of jobs for local residents, and this plot of land will be a self-sufficient ecosystem of gardening, education, cooking, business learning and management. The community will get their hands dirty together, shovel together, work together and be healthy together. You can read more about his efforts here.
His TED talk is great, and not too long. Enjoy, and go start your own revolution!