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it's probably a good time to start a little series on growing food at home in urban environments in the hope of encouraging people who could grow their own but don't to give it a try.

I hate gardening.  Does that make me a bad environmentalist?

I totally support urban gardens and people growing their own food.  Good for the pocketbook, the environment, the soul ... good skill set for the coming end of the world as we know it.  Yes, yes, yes...

I was a successful co-gardener: picking things out and then noticing when they weren't being properly tended to.  I especially like picking off the crispy dead bits.

But left on my own...  I kill things.  I don't mean to.  Don't tell me I need to practice.  It's not practice.  It's that plants are so needy and I am so selfish.  I have enough stress caring for a cat & making sure it doesn't die.  A whole garden of living things depending solely on me for their survival?  I don't get that zenny feeling so many gardeners describe.  I feel more like the hospital resident on whom someone's grandmother's life depends.  I come to resent them.  You'd think by now plants would learn how to feed and water and prune themselves.  

I also do not sew my own clothes or cut my own hair or do my own yearly exams or drill my own teeth.  I'm sure the environment would benefit from me never leaving my home because I am so self-sufficient.  There are people who are very good at these things and who enjoy doing them, and so I gladly pay the local or organic farmer, my stylist, doctor, dentist ... probable sweatshop workers employed by H&M.  

I see all the benefits of the DIY lifestyle.  I've dabbled.  But the fact is no one is good at everything.  I'm no good at gardening.  And I hate it not because I hate plants, but because I hate killing them, letting them down.  I know neglect is a form of abuse.  I hate abusing these poor fragile leafy beings I've agreed to watch over.  And then rejecting them when I refuse to eat them.  I just think it's better karma to have some farmer who actually likes what he does, gets some satisfaction from this noble job, and does it well, grow my food for me.  

And I have no guilt about it because I walk to the grocery store and farmers' markets.  Which is probably even better than getting in a car and driving to the nursery where I'd buy my urban garden plants.

I do have one living plant.  Indestructible.  Also inedible.  Though my cat eats it.  And it still looks amazing.  This plant has learned to live without me.  We have an understanding.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Oct 24th, 2007 at 03:01:51 PM EST

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