This series of posts are an exploration of how we can use our gardens as a way to move past the limiting concept of ‘sustainability’ and move to a world of abundance.
The thing about moving beyond sustainability in home gardens is that it’s so easy. We’re already growing stuff, so why not work out ways to grow a little more for the same amount of effort?
We all address simple things like ‘recycle’ and ‘reuse’ and ‘frugal’ on one end of the spectrum, but how many of us embrace the thornier issues at the other end…issues like ‘production’ and ‘surplus’?
It’s easy to be conservative, to say ‘use less’ and ‘be frugal’, but with the inherent problems of an ever growing global population, these ideas, while valid and crucial, become an increasingly small part of the picture.
Frugality, while graciously embraced by most of we thinking folk will be forced on on the rest of the world eventually, probably in ways that aren’t apparent to much of the populus.
Of course, there are ‘greater forces’ at play in the global, if not cosmic, arenas, but we simple folk are best at doing simple things. Gardening is always the first answer that pops into my head when faced with bigger things.
Our home garden can easily be the source of the majority of our food and maybe even our energy needs. Our community can provide most of the rest and adaptable folk can always find a way to get the remainder.
Growing extra to preserve is usually how people start looking to be more than sustainable. Keeping an ever growing reserve of preserves and dried food is a big step, it is recognising that the food you produce from your own garden is valuable and will increase in value as time passes.
The idea of trade is usually the next quantum jump that gardeners make. You now value your raw materials and produce and are willing to exchange surplus for things that you consider to be of equal or greater value.
The final step is giving. Giving without expectation of return is highly praised by most religions and philosophies, but can be the hardest thing to do; we are so conditioned to expect returns for anything we do. Overcoming this conditioning is possible and like all learning it just takes practice and repetition.
I propose that we squeeze a little more out of our home gardens, plant an extra melon or two specifically to share with neighbours – but don’t forget to share it.