All my life I’ve been a gardener. I’m not bragging; I never thought it was anything to brag about, NOR did I ever think it was something to be ashamed of, but lately, something seems to have changed. Home vegetable gardening is one of those things that have gotten lumped together with the so-called “Prepper” movement . . . as if attempting to be semi-independent is a bad thing.
Ever since I was little, it was just something we always did. Most everyone in the neighborhood down here in Nanticoke grew something, even if it was just a few tomato plants or beans — most folks had “something going.” Just the idea that it was so easy to grow superior produce was enough to motivate people to do it. No one needed a television show to tell them to do it; it was all just common sense. You could learn a lot from the “old timers” around, you know, the ones who made it through the Great Depression and World War II when growing your own food was a necessity for basic survival. If you could be bothered to listen, you could pick up nearly everything you needed to know to grow an amazing garden and a LOT of food. I mean, they’ve seen it all, not to mention that they KNOW your area and local climate and what to do and when.
But lately, something seems to have changed. I’m not sure exactly when but WHY seems obvious. Any attempt at any kind of independence from “the system,” no matter how small needs to be mocked and disparaged . . . old time common sense and frugality has no place in our world today!
In the last year or so, I’ve been called everything from a “Redneck” to a “Commie,” and merely on account of my gardens. At least the epithets seem to cancel each other out, but WHY is this happening? One of the most telling comments came from one of my neighbors a few weeks back when he remarked to me, “Just go to a supermarket, weirdo!”
Really? Weirdo? Years back I remember people sharing their surplus . . . I always remember someone giving away tomatoes or zucchini, and I can’t imagine anyone would think of this as being a BAD thing. I’ve spoken to a few people who‘ve had experiences similar to mine and I think it’s a shame that somehow the “seed” has been planted in the mass consciousness that “suburban farming” is in some way a bad thing.
I also can’t help but think that as “we” become even more dependent on, I’ll be nice and say, “toys,” there seems to be this new laziness. I mean, who needs to break a sweat and get their hands dirty when there’s probably an “app” for that. It’s become easy for those addicted to technology to look at those trying to achieve a little independence as “crazy,” you know, one of “those people.”
Well, I’m going to do my part to try to turn the tide against this. And it’s NOT like I haven’t shared my surplus with anyone who wanted it in the past, but now it’s time for “aggressive sharing.” Anyone who grows a garden knows just how much extra there can be . . . when you’re done canning, freezing and pickling, give away what you can! Who could argue with free, high quality food?
Now, I’m sure some will argue, but who needs them? Anyone who can see the difference will be won over. “Just go to a supermarket, weirdo?” Indeed! Why should I, when I can grow this wonderful bounty???
Win them over with kindness. If they need to label you as a “Prepper” or even a “Commie Redneck” or some other silliness, let them! In the end, who can argue with a full belly???