Working at home means I definitely take multiple breaks thru the day to water and tend to plants on our balcony garden. A kitchen garden to source herbs, fruits and veggies from for some of our snacks and meals is both practical and a deep joy.

In two separate conversations recently, one with Sara Venn of Edible Bristol & one with Robert Patterson of The Growing Connection, the topic of equity & mainstreaming gardening for food as a common activity came up.

Urban gardens are in some places a basic means of providing food & supplementing nutrition whereas in others there is almost a connotation of ‘privilege’, with mainly those who can ‘afford’ (time wise) to even invest in such an activity.

But the point is, in some of our societies, to move beyond the framing of urban gardening as something ‘trendy’ or ‘hip’. (Although I would argue that if making it ‘hip’ would radically attract more people & encourage more investment in such initiatives at community scale across cities that would be great too….)

I do believe urban agriculture is critical for food resilience, though in so many urban environments we are so completely divorced from food growth that the discussion and public awareness on this can be extremely low depending on region.

Times of (future) crisis may radically remind us how vulnerable and in some cases insane our current food systems are.

What if the knowledge I develop in our current balcony garden and continue to shape can help me with organizing community gardens in the future?

I almost didn’t plant a single seed here as we may move and I was worried about investing in and getting attached to many plants and then having to just give them away.

When I also understand this chapter as experimentation, the attachment relaxes. If we need to move far, I will happily donate all these plants to a community or school garden (or private passionate gardener).

Begin where you are.

I took a Blue Zones Happiness test yesterday and was surprised by my A+ result. Not because I don’t recognize my own happiness- I do, but it’s not the emotion I position as needing the most value all the time (for myself).

I also harbor ongoing, quiet and unsettling anxiety about societal collapse but even so, I’m able to find daily, simple & pure joy in things like tending to our healthy pea plants grown from seed.

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