This being a blog about Gardening the urban wilds, one might ask, why? Why Garden? Why bother, when food is so easily obtained at the local grocery store. Why bother, when the urban environment is so inherently challenging?
It’s a fair question, and there are many ways to answer it. Fundamentally, I garden because I enjoy working with plants. Watching them grow. Observing the small creatures such as bees and butterflies that often visit the plants. It makes me happy.
But there are also economic reasons to garden; if your income is modest, if you make an hourly wage that is flat or declining relative to rising expenses. It’s often said that time is money, but the reverse is also true. Your money represents time you spent on the job. If you grow food, you reduce expenses and potentially can free up some of your time for personal aspirations.
Food security and access to quality, nutritious food are also good reasons to garden. Many low income urban neighborhoods just don’t have the kind of grocery stores that offer fresh healthy produce. Or if they do, the high price puts it out of reach. That is the plight of much of my city Oakland. Welcome to Brokeland, a city that spans the globe.
If you live in Brokeland then you should think about Gardening because it is probably the most effective way to improve your life and your environment. You really can improve your little corner of the world. One seed, one plant at a time.
Gardening is an effective way to build community. It gets you outside where you can interact with people in a non threatening context. It’s really kind of amazing the way people let down their defenses, even in a tough neighborhood.
Gardening is powerful. Give it a try, you’ll see.