No Better Form of Personal Involvement



“Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating."


- Wendell Berry, “The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry”



Can growing an organic garden really have an impact on the “cure of the environment?”


When you first read this statement from Wendell Berry you may have doubts that a person growing a garden can really do what he claims it can do but let’s take a look at the difference it actually makes.


For every one person growing a garden, as far as I can tell, makes an environmental difference in at least 5 ways.


  • When you grow an organic garden it becomes one less piece of the world that is not getting harmful chemicals sprayed on it. This not only has an impact on the land you are growing on but the air that moves off of your property into other parts of the world and the water runoff that eventually makes its way to the creeks and rivers.



  • When you grow your own food organically it is that much less food that is being purchased that has been grown that way eventually having an impact on just how much is grown that way, ultimately over time reducing that amount and hence reducing the amount of chemicals being sprayed.



  • Less purchases at the grocery store means less transportation impact. Because food is being consumed locally a truck didn’t have to bring it across the Country and burn fuel.



  • When you grow organically it has a positive impact on pollinators which in return have a greater impact on nature as a whole eventually having a positive impact on the environment as a whole. The more pollination going on means more plants, more trees, more food for creatures including us.



  • Gardening is contagious! When you grow an organic garden you can’t help but develop a passion for it and with passion comes a proclamation, a declaration, a sermon if you will of spreading the good news of organic gardening. This leads to converts who in return grow their organic gardens and preach the same good news. One garden leads to many gardens, leading to a greater impact in the world.



With that I find myself wholeheartedly agreeing with Mr. Berry in that as “Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world.”



The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry




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