Posts tagged “Benjamin Franklin”

Food Price Panic and Garden Therapy

By cass.

I hate all these headlines about food prices going up. If you don't know what I'm talking about, and feel like stressing yourself out google ''food prices 2013".

With last summer's drought, this winter's deep freezes shifting wildly all over the place and many other factors including expanding markets abroad, inflation and the costs of fuel and water, where is the hope for anything beyond acceptance of the fact that it's going to cost more to eat? Obviously, it's a complex equation projecting a moving target.

For a person as practical as I am, breaking my head trying to understand it all or scaring myself with individual case scenarios is simply too subjective. Without being able to take some action, it just adds up to a sense of helplessness. There are probably a lot of things a person could do to address this. One obvious and excellent way is to start a garden and plant a few specimens of things you like to eat — tend it, watch it grow, and enjoy both the labor itself and its fruits in season, impeccably fresh, and you didn't even have to go to the market.

But economics is just the beginning of the reasons for gardening. Cultivating a few of your favorite foods leads to even more good things. It truly enters the realm of profound appreciation of life, an opinion shared by some of the great intellects, like Benjamin Franklin, who considered agriculture the most noble of professions (1), and George Washington who said "I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world (2)." Considering the many pursuits and incredible accomplishments of these mean, that's saying a lot.

But from a humbler person's point of view, through the cycle of planting, germination, foliation, flowering, fruiting and harvesting I realized how reassuring and, well, grounding it can be. To the uninitiated somehow it's also truly surprising. Despite all the world's notorious vicissitudes, given a few simple conditions, anyone can experience through their garden a world that is beautiful, amazingly generous and a source of deep connection to life at its most magical — in a word, glorious!

It just takes a little bit of earth, water and sunlight — plus a few seeds or seedlings, a little healthy sweat and some fun and interesting mucking about. It's primordial, really, and actually fascinating and reassuring when you begin to feel the forces fundamental to keeping body and soul together because of you're own participation with them.

And then you get to eat the fresh and tasty things that you've brought forth with your own hands. That is a really good thing.

So what if you were to take action toward growing some food this season? Think of the possibilities! Here at, we're make it easier to get started by making more ground available for more people through enabling yard sharing.