The best plan
There is a special satisfaction in living a busy and self-supporting life. Being a passive consumer reliant on others for our wellbeing does none of us any favours. There is no more fundamental area of our lives where most of us have the opportunity to be at least partly self-sufficient than in growing our own food!
And you don't need to be blessed with many acres of land like I am to grow food. Think of all those hard and smart working Italian Nona's and Poppa's who transformed typical suburban backyards into living larders!
Although worldwide around 4 billion people now live in cities and are thus increasingly dependent on big agriculture (including nearly 70% of Australians), the recent urban food movement has taken off, and innovative growing methods have allowed even small city apartments to become productive. Who hasn't been amazed and inspired by how weeds can grow in the most impossible places in city footpaths and concrete walls? If you want to do it, you can, in spite of your constraints!
I undoubtedly come to the topic of home gardening from a biased (but unrepentant) point of view. To me, life in the garden is the very best opportunity for human beings to live balanced, sustainable, productive, healthful, cheerful and fulfilling lives - and we all have it in our genes. I believe our first parents were created to be gardeners, and given stewardship of the first garden. If only every family had a home on the land, with enough space for a good garden to feed themselves (and to share or sell their produce), they would have both the means and incentive for a useful, industrious, and self-supporting life. I do not believe that anyone has ever improved on that plan.
Why settle for anything less than doing the best you can in your circumstance?
Next week I'll start to share some tips on getting started...