Why Do We Grow Food?
Excerpted from The New Canadian Garden, 2016, Mark Cullen. All rights reserved. Published by Dundurn Press.
It seems like an easy question with a simple answer: we grow food to survive. After all, we need food to fuel our bodies, to supply out tissues with moisture, nutrients, and vitamins to move, grow, repair, and think. Beyond that, though, beyond the necessity that engulfs the process, why do a third of Canadians engage in food gardening when the majority of us generally have easy access to a wide variety?
Gardening for food is more than a means to an end. It is a time to play in the dirt, to let the soil run through your hands, to not feel guilty when you get dirty; it is the thrill of watching those seeds, tiny and seemingly insignificant, emerge from the ground and grow a little every day; it is knowing where your food comes from, where it’s been, and appreciating the effort it took to get it here. Above all else, it helps us to understand how connected we are with Mother Nature and how dependent on her we are for survival – not the other way around.
I get a thrill out of growing food in my garden each spring and summer. I guess that’s why I carved an acre out of our property for this purpose!
Read more in my new book ‘The New Canadian Garden’ available at independent book stores and Home Hardware.