Becoming a Farmer

It's one thing having a veggie patch; it's another story becoming a farmer.

I used to shop once a week – or rather my better half did – but I saw a ¼ of all the food I bought go off, packaged to suit retail space, not how much I eat and when, and if there’s one thing that I can’t do, it’s waste food,

so all the more reason to produce it myself.

Having ripped up my front lawn, and transplanting some of my seedlings from the greenhouse, my garden was starting to take form. Like the greenhouse, this was a weekend venture for me, even though I had a much bigger idea for the project in my head, I started small. The point is that you don’t have to spend your life savings on building your garden; nature is simple and will thrive with the simplest of assistance. I used whatever I could find:

  •  Old tyres – punctures from our many travels on rough dirt roads
  • Old treated timber that I had lying around
  • Bricks, concrete blocks and rocks

Becoming a FarmerI did most of the landscaping myself but it will probably be necessary to get someone else on board. I have a really good relationship with a farmer called Gray who comes in twice a week and tends to the garden, plus he walks home with fresh produce for his whole family. But the real value for me is that we are both learning what I call forgotten knowledge. These are things that we all used to know and needed to know, but as our lives became more convenient, we forgot how to grow our own tomatoes. It’s a valuable resource that I know he will take home and pass on to his family. This is my hope through my personal efforts at home and the greater Green Town project. If we can educate people and teach them the skills necessary to produce their own food in the cities, we can empower the people who need it most.

Once the operation is in full swing you will be amazed at all the fresh produce that you have – I don’t even know what to do with it all. And you won’t believe the difference in taste. If I pick a leaf of lettuce, I have to eat it within the hour or it will wilt, but somehow the lettuce that you buy in the shops can last for a week? How does that work? The only way to really understand the impact that this can have on you and your family’s health and well being is to do it yourself, and I guarantee that you’ll taste the difference. The biggest issue in this whole situation is also the ultimate solution: us. It’s easy to blame the farmer or the retailer, but ultimately it has to start with the consumer; with you and me.

PhotosGARDEN

 “The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.” – Michael Pollan

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