Why Urban Farming?
If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you may be asking yourself, “Why the urban farming thing? Why all the gardening?” It’s become a huge passion (err, obsession), and my husband thinks I’m spamming everyone. For better or for worse, it’s here to stay.
So, what’s the deal with the urban farming thing? I’m so glad you asked!
I grew up on a hobby farm, or a ranch, whatever you want to call it. We had a few acres, horses, mules, chickens, a pet lamb once (I’ll tell you the story sometime over drinks), dogs, cats, pigs, etc. and of course a rose garden and a potato patch. I don’t actually remember the potato patch, but my Aunty Pammy says it was there, so it was there.
I actually resented the whole situation as I was growing up because I just didn’t understand it. I felt like I had so many chores, and that life was so boring. I was an only child living in a semi-remote area, and while all the cool kids were going to the mall in their white platform sneakers, I was trying to scrape horse manure off my Payless shoes and shake hay out of my hair. Not cool. Or so I thought at the time (cue God laughing).
As the fates would have it, I got my fix of city living by way of five years in San Diego and Los Angeles, and it did just what my parents promised it would: got old. Fast. However, I ended up in Orange County, CA, and now have accumulated over ten years in the Southland.
I always promised myself that I wouldn’t raise my kids here. I just wouldn’t. Too many pressures and way too many Range Rovers.
Cue God laughing yet again, as I have a one year old son now and we are still in The OC.
After years of complaining about wanting a garden and a big yard and space and land and acres and a new life, I decided it was high time to start doing and stop planning. So I bought a teeny tiny one pot garden with six plants in it.
The truth is that I have this deep rooted belief that character is built outside, with your two hands. It requires imagination, resourcefulness, honesty, and nature. Convenience and comfort need not apply. I fear deeply that my kids, if raised in a society that rewards external riches, will not reach the potential they could if life was more simple, more real, or more deep.
So, I took matters into my own hands, and started with what I had – minimal space, but a big heart for home cooking and home growing. That morphed into something much bigger, and now I am a bonafide FARMER! Okay, maybe not quite. More like an urban homesteader in the making.
I’ll tell you what – it’s sticking. My son already drags a watering can out to help, and ADORES playing in the garden beds. He craves the outdoors, and sits by the door to go outside at least a dozen times a day. I couldn’t be happier about it. Let him eat all the dirt.
I have a story to tell, per the usual, and will share more. Like all good tales, there are some twists and turns, but the takeaway is this: start where you are, with what you have, and the rest will fall into place.