Recently, my partner, Rachel, and I have been trying to add to our garden in our backyard. We really lucked out when we moved into our current home, an above-ground basement unit of a duplex house. Our backyard currently includes many fruit trees (apples, lemons, oranges, and persimmons), grape vines, and a blackberry patch. We have enjoyed and appreciated what those plants have brought to our lives. So we decided to add to it by starting a veggie and herb garden. We purchased our non-genetically modified seeds from Seeds of Change (www.seedsofchange.com). We planted tomato, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, beats, cilantro, basil, and flat leaf parsley.
The main reason we started a garden is to have relatively inexpensive
healthy food grown in our very own backyard. These veggies and herbs
are as local as it gets — right outside our door. So far, it has been a
very positive experience to plant our little seedlings, water them, and
watch them grow. I feel like a proud mama. It takes a little work to
make a garden grow, but it’s also good to get out in the sun and dig in
the dirt. Gardening has actually been shown to have positive benefits
such as providing relaxation, stress-relief, nutrition, and physical and
mental health. Besides these benefits, I feel that a garden is
socialist. And as a Socialist it feels like a good fit for me and
something I want to be part of my life.
A garden is socialist because it’s local, organic, small-scale,
sustainable, and community-based. The food we grow will not require a
carbon footprint, as it won’t travel in a truck to a supermarket or in a
car to our home. The garden we grow will be totally under our own
control, we have the means of production at our finger tips, and our own
hands and efforts will make it happen. We will also have more than we
can eat ourselves, so we plan to share our bounty with others. We are
also doing this as partners, working together and cooperating to feed
ourselves and others. I feel the time we are spending doing this
together has been very worthwhile and gratifying. There is nothing like
the pride you feel in growing your own food, gathering it, eating it,
and giving it to others to enjoy. It is satisfying and fulfilling, and
it has brought us closer together as a family.
I believe if everyone started a garden it would be revolutionary. If
we want a different society we need to start in our own backyards,
literally from the ground up. We could also start more community gardens
and gardens at schools. Gardens are a renewable source of energy to
fuel our bodies and souls. Let’s remake America one garden at a time.
*Originally published in The Socialist on August 3, 2013