There is something very fundamental about growing food. For all of human history, our relationship to the land, and to the living things on it, has been central to our identity, and has dictated our culture, our successes, and our values.
It is in our nature to be stewards of the land. It is what has made us who we are today. We were all born to grow things, and if you think you don’t have a green thumb, perhaps it is because so many of us have become orphaned from our heritage.
We are so fortunate to live in a time where acquiring food is not the most pressing concern for most people. But even far away from the farms, in our information age jobs, our cities, our sterile homes and offices, the fundamentals of plants and animals, water and soil, sustain us and underpin everything that we have.
In times of crisis, we remember what’s important. When our marvelous supply chains struggle to handle disruption, when the stress of our world drives us back to less-tamed environments, when the most difficult trials challenge our values and life decisions, we remember our connection to the rest of life on this planet, and the things that keep us alive and make life worth living.
Perhaps if we keep that connection healthy and strong, we’ll be better prepared. Besides maintaining the natural areas of the world, we can remember how to grow plants and animals. We can remember that our ancestors nurtured the soil and the water and our insect partners to produce strong crops and healthy livestock. We can recall that it really is possible to sustain ourselves and our environment without annual purchases of poisons and chemicals, patented seeds and protected plant varieties.
However we choose to do it, though, I believe that we all have a need to grow things, and an amazing talent for it, somewhere within us. Food, and growing food, connects all of us–in our communities, in our world, in who we are and what we value. In growing, as in all of the most important endeavors, we find that it is we, ourselves, who grow the most. Together, I think we can grow amazing things.
It’s time to grow.
Published 14 March 2020, Paul Anguiano.