Sh*t To Help You Show Up March 19, 2021
The Magic of Growing Things
Happy Friday, friends! It’s early yet for getting seeds in the ground here in Upstate New York, but I went out in the rain yesterday to prune my roses for the first time ever and started thinking about growing things— vegetables, community, regional food systems. One thing leads to another and another, to my mind.
I am partial to people who are good with plants, whether it’s indoor plants, plants for eating, or outdoor ornamentals. If someone is capable of growing things then I trust there’s some patience in them, some protective instinct, a deep capacity for attention. Or at least, as in my case, there’s a desire to develop those attributes over time, to get better and better at being here.
“It's one of the few things one gets better at as one gets older. There are no child prodigies in gardening.”— Pamela Page
I think if we stop thinking about the power of growing things at the limits of our own gardens, however, we prune back our imagination just as it begins to flower. What a waste! Community gardens grow connections, foster health and self-sufficiency, and revitalize neglected urban spaces. Urban agriculture provides jobs, paths to entrepreneurship, and new ways of approaching city zoning and planning. Regional distributors connect small-scale farmers with wholesale markets, preserving agricultural land and traditional ways of life.
All of this matters. It all contributes to the integrity of our lives, as individuals and as a society. And it all begins with the germination of tiny seeds in dirt, which is both miraculous and poignant.
Today I want to share with you a handful of videos about farming and gardening around the country because they move and excite me. There is so much good being grown in the world— so much health and creativity and community empowerment. As we move into spring and emerge slowly from our quarantines, I hope we can each find a way to tend to creation and connection.
Whether you hang a plant in your window, grow a tomato in a bucket on your balcony, participate in a community garden, buy from a local farmer, or support an agricultural project like the ones below, you are nourishing life and integrity.
“To change the community you have to change the composition of the soil. We are the soil. ”— Ron Finley
“Urban agriculture in Detroit is all about community because we grow together, so these spaces of conviviality, these spaces are where we are building social cohesion as well as providing healthy, fresh food to our friends, our families, and our neighbors.”— Devita Davison
“We’re saying that in twenty years communities like Bonton could normalize. How much better is that than building another prison? How much better is that than building another homeless shelter?… there should be a huge shift in investment of time and energy from the downstream measures that we do to deal with people once they’ve fallen in the river and are drowning, and move it upstream before they fall in, give them the resources they need to become something special and give back to this world.”— Daron Babcock
“This was an opportunity to really help people who had been farmers in their home country, who got plopped in Chicago, reconnect with their roots.”— Linda Seyler
“Food is something that binds us all together. We need it to live, but we also need to feel connected to it because it connects us to the land, it connects us to the people, it connects us to our region.”— Fritz Boettner
“We have to create. It is the only thing louder than destruction.”— Andrea Gibson
Why do you love growing things? What are you going to grow this season?
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