Food Security

Gardening – an Essential Survival Skill

Reprinted from The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe with permission from Chelsea Green Publishing. This is a terrific gardening book!

“There are some things everyone should know in order to be a fully functional and productivemember of society. Some of these skills define adulthood. Mastering them is part of becoming an adult. Others require decades of further living for full mastery, and mark the transition from mere adulthood to wisdom. Everyone’s list would vary somewhat. Here’s mine:

“You need to be able to walk, run, stand and crawl. You can read, write, do basic arithmetic, and type. You can drive, swim, perform first aid, use contraception, deliver a baby, tend the old or ill, comfort the dying. You are able to support yourself. You wash your hands. You are courteous. You function at least adequately in an emergency, perhaps excellently and you know the difference between an emergency and an inconvenience. You can give orders, take orders, lead or follow, and you know when to do which. You either don’t drink or can hold your liquor. You know when to speak and when to be silent. You know how to listen. You know how to say, “I’m sorry,” and mean it. And “I was wrong,” and mean that too. You can build a fire. You can cook a delicious meal from simple basic ingredients. And you can garden.

You can garden. You know how to grow food including some staples. You may not garden every yeaer of your life, but you at least know how.

“Knowing these things promote individual personal happiness and survival – survival physically, emotionally, and spiritually. A community in which many people know these things is a healthy and resilient community – a community that is maximally positioned to thrive in good times and to survive the rest.”