There’s this one thing. One little thing out there that we can all do that would have a huge impact on our entire world.
It also has a huge impact on individual lives, by allowing us to save money, eat better, breath cleaner air and find peace within ourselves.
I get that this sounds like a bunch of hippy dippy woo-woo crap but it’s not. Please here me out.
I promise this is not a scam, in fact even if everyone started doing this I would not make a penny (unless you click my affiliate links then might make a few bucks, but that’s a big maybe since I’m not exactly striking it rich on blogging over here).
It’s a little in that it requires everyone to take only a moment out of their day, to put in a little effort, but those moments will fill your heart and give you time to reflect. Studies have shown that taking part in this one thing can reduce stress and improve overall wellness, perhaps even lower the risk of developing dementia. We all know time is our most precious resource, and in today’s world we are busier than ever, but if taking a few minutes each day to do this one task gives you health benefits while also feeding the poor and helping the environment and saving you money don’t you think it’s worth that time? I certainly do. I would be here trying to tell you this if that wasn’t the case.
So what’s this one amazing thing that can change everything? It’s as simple as a plant.
Yep, you read that right.
Even those living in the tiniest of apartments can grow a single vegetable or herb on a window sill. It will take a moment of your time to water or otherwise care for that plant each day, but it will provide you with food; food that can be grown organically, locally and sustainably right inside your own home.
There are personal benefits to growing your own food, even if it’s just a single basil plant. That one basil plant will provide a huge boost of flavor in your diet, encouraging you to cook more, and freshen your air as it grows. It will save you money from buying fresh basil from the store and allow you to make great things like pesto. It also reduces the amount of transportation costs and packaging making its way into our environment. Now imagine if you everyone did this? The environmental consequences would multiply exponentially. Imagine if you alone took on 2 or 4 plants of different varieties. How much money could you save? How many more meals with vegetables would you eat? How much would you help the environment?
I think everyone should be a backyard farmer, even if they only grow a tiny salsa garden that produces a harvest once or twice. The idea of victory gardens during WWII was one of the best campaigns our government has ever run. I’m tired of seeing tick-tacky little houses in rows with grass everywhere. There are billions of species of plants on this planet and vast numbers of those are edible, so why are we spending our time planting grass? Grass lawns have high water requirements; with low wildlife value (Are Lawns Bad? – Huffington Post & Another Downside to your Lawn – Smithsonianmag.org) so why do we continue to waste precious resources cultivating lawns?
Our current model of factory farming is not working. It is not sustainable.
Modern farming practices rely on pesticides, monoculture crops (crop specialization or growing a single crop), fertilizers, and long distance transport. None of these things are conducive to a viable system. Each year we have to add more fertilizer, water, and pesticide to produce the same volume of crops, while the human population continues to grow. It’s obvious that this system is not working. A single blight or draught could cause food shortages across the country.
Transporting food from across the globe is by no means a sustainable practice either. The US ships in beef from other countries while paying our own ranchers subsidies to not produce as much cattle, because (the government claims) it’s cheaper. Perhaps they are right on this one, maybe it is cheaper but at what cost? For each pound of food grown in our back yards or in our neighbor hoods the volume of carbon emissions is reduced by 2lbs. What do we know about the quality of the food grown in other countries? What about the nutrition lost as fresh produce is being transported.
The easiest way to combat this is not in legislature but in our own homes. If we start growing more food, buying locally the system will be forced to change due to supply and demand. There will never be more flavor, and nutrients than in a vegetable grown organically in your own backyard.
Starting a garden is easy, the best advice I can give you is to just start. Purchasing easy to care for plants from a nursery is probably the easiest thing you can do. With a little water, sunlight and care they will be producing and you will be hooked in no time.
Convinced you have a black thumb? Be mindful about where your produce comes from, buy local and organic if possible, better yet join a CSA, shop at a farmers market or participate in a community garden.
Our world is struggling beneath the weight of an ever growing human population as well as the quest for advancement. As we advance we as a people are getting sicker and so many others are starving, when there is no reason for it. It’s time that we give back to the earth and to ourselves. It really only takes each of us to grow one edible plant to get this movement started to improve our lives and the lives of countless others.