Yesterday afternoon, I clicked on the link to Michael Pollan’s excellent New York Times Magazine piece on all the good things that arise from gardening—his focus is on climate change and the behavioral shift everyone must undergo to make any kind of difference in the daunting problem, but he makes the eloquent case about why we ought to all grow some of our own food. A few minutes later, an email came in from a friend in California, sending the article my way.
It’s a piece worth sharing, and not just because Michael Pollan is my hero. I wish everyone thought this way, and I realize that I’m speaking as someone who came pretty late to the gardening party. But now that I’ve lived a life where I can just run out to the yard and clip some herbs to throw in whatever meal I’m cooking up, there’s no going back, and I want everyone to experience the same thing. It really doesn’t matter whether you get your food at your local superstore or at a co-op or even the farmer’s market (although if you’re not going to grow it yourself, farmer’s market up, people, ’cause it’s good stuff, too)—the best, healthiest, most delicious, most amazing food is always going to be what you grew yourself.
For me, the connection Pollan draws to climate change is a worthy one, but the other connections he talks about—to the miracle of how something starts as a speck-like seed and becomes edible just with the addition of some sun and air and dirt and water, to the neighbors around you, to the land itself—are the ones that I value the most highly.
That being said, I fully agree with Pollan. If you make those connections, the larger one—the willingness to make changes that will benefit the climate without feeling like you’re yelling into some sort of howling void—will come easier, too.
UPDATE: You can also learn more about what the company I work for is doing on this front in my post re: the Pollan article for The GeoVoices blog.