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I'm a writer, a freelancer, a crafter, a nail polish mixatrix, a tea drinker, an unconventional life-liver, a journaling junkie, an introvert, a chronic-pain-sufferer, an idealist, a geek, a TV-lover. Welcome to my corner of the web!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

10 Reasons to grow at least some of your own food

1. It's fun
Picking the plants you want. Planting them and watching them grow. Seeing the first flowers. Eating the first thing you grew youself. All Fun. The fact that we're not in a country or a time where it's required for subsistence means that you can experiment, you can try new things every season, you can grow basically anything, whether it'll do well where you live or not. Whether you like it after it gives you something back or not. And the fact that any work you put into it is repaid with stuff you can eat is gravy!

2. It's independent
No one tells you what to plant. No one owns the fruits and veg that come of it. If you grow heirloom plants, you can save the seeds and not have to pay a penny for them next time! And if you get really good at it, you don't even have to depend on grocery stores for some of your daily edibles. How awesome is that?

3. There's more variety
Stores specifically grow stuff that has a long shelf life and does well in traveling trucks. That means there's only a few different kinds of each fruit or veg. But seed catalogs have hundreds of varieties! Of everything! Want a purple carrot or a yellow tomato? They have it. Want a golden beet or a dwarf melon? Got that, too. Want a seven-dollar exotic without having to pay seven dollars? I bet there's lots of those!

4. It's a good skill to have
We're living in a weird time where there are people that don't know that french fries come from potatoes. But if you do know, and how to grow one, as long as you've got some dirt you can always have potatoes--and fries--and hashbrowns--even if suddenly potatoes cost more than gold. And, you know, if that happened, you could also sell your overage and make a mint, because who else is going to know how to?

Always being able to feed yourself and your family is a skill everyone should know, even if their garden is tiny and never makes that much food.

5. It connects you with nature
It's been known for a while that having some sort of connection with the natural world is good for people. The simplest way to have an excuse to get outside and dealing with green stuff? Growing something. Once things are established, it doesn't take much time, but even those few minutes a day are minutes when we're breathing outside air and getting vitamin-D from sunlight, and thinking about something other than ourselves and our stress.

Plus, there's this natural, like, accidental nature-connection that happens as you keep going. You start noticing when the weather is right to plant a certain thing. You can feel the seasons changing. You know how likely your home environment is to give you this plant vs that plant, or another quick harvest before winter, or tasty edibles before it gets too hot. You incidentally start knowing the names of plants and trees around you, and whether you can eat them. It's neat.

6. Apocalypse readiness
If everything falls apart, the people who can feed each other are going to be as important (or more?) as the people who have all the guns. And hoarding seeds takes a lot less space than hoarding a lifetime supply of cereal or canned goods or something, and is far more sustainable. Communities used to be founded on where the food came from; if it comes to that again, you want to be where the food is.

7. Free(ish) food!
One seed, if treated right, will make a whole plant that produces lots of veg, and lots and lots more seeds. Some work to keep it healthy and alive to that point will give you veggies that just happen naturally as part of the plant's existence, and you can just pick them and eat them! Plus, there's all your seeds for next season!

8. Stick it to the Man!
Maybe I'm just, but I can't imagine that anyone would want to live entirely by corporate and governmental demands. But if you grow even just a little of your own food, you're making a statement that the way the big picture is run doesn't really address all the needs of the individual. And that's neat, and way more pleasant than arguing politics all the time.

9. Gardeners are awesome
The people who spend their downtime growing things are some of the nicest people I've ever met. Every fall, there's people who will just give away seeds to keep their fav varieties alive. They're people who care about the world in a non-hypothetical way: they know exactly what it means when environments degrade and biodiversity breaks down, and they're out to stop that even if they never talk about it. They're into sharing and helping and spreading knowledge. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that community?

10. Everybody needs a hobby
Hobbies are good for you in general, but one that also feeds you can't help but be that much better, right?

So go start a garden! Anything where you grow stuff counts as a garden, by the way, so you can just scoop dirt from the yard into the bottom halfs of milk jugs and grow the seeds from your regular store-bought veg. Not as many of those will grow as if you buy seeds from a seed supplier, but some will! And that's a start. Every plant is a start!

Some of my fav seed sites:

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