Why then do we garden? How does it apply to the philosophy of “Living Small”?
The point of gardening, food gardening, is to reduce the time and fuel expended between what’s grown and what’s consumed. We do this to for several reasons. The primary reason being food. Food grown at home it just so satisfying. It tastes better. It lasts longer. It can be picked one leaf at a time. This is the case for not just herbs but also kale, lettuce and silverbeet. By harvesting this way we only collect what we need when we need it. It increases the time until individual plants run to seed as they are continually replacing their leaves. There is a point of no return in this but the production is far greater than letting things grow to “optimal” picking size. We have been led to believe we need the whole lettuce because that’s what’s sold in supermarkets.
Last summer we used six lettuce to supply a salad for 4 people, 5 nights out of 7 using this method before we allowed the plants to head and be harvested.
By growing our own vegetables we ensure a small plot of soil is no longer consuming oil to mow it, water to keep it green or time wasted in the knowledge the lawn will grow back. Additionally. food grown at home is tax free income. The money saved is available for other options. It also opens the possibility of having to perform less paid employment. There are many ways to grow organically, ranging from labour intensive to simply harvest as needed. Finding a system suited to yourself may free up more time than you considered possible. We will consider some options in the next post.
On top of all these benefits is the joy of eating, sharing and enjoying your own food!