A bit of history

A bit of history on me.  First I used to help my Dad in the garden as a kid.  Many's the time I can remember helping Dad harvest our meager amount of tomatoes in Southern Maryland. My babysitters parents used to have a massive sized garden and when my babysitter needed to run an errand she would bring my little brother and I to her parents so they could help watch us.  In the end my brother and I used to be enlisted in helping in the backyard with large bowls so we could pick the wax beans, tomatoes, corn, etc. We usually ate more than what we brought in but I'm sure my babysitters Mom was just grateful for the company as we all worked together.  I used to help my Dad tend our front yard in Hawaii.  I remember our delight in our own home grown coconuts and papayas or me killing our hot pepper plant because it was being attacked by some unknown pest(they were aphids).
Later, once we had moved to Tennessee I used to help somewhat however by then I was a 16 year old teenager.  Plants had moved to 3rd place as my social life and even more importantly, boys, became more important.
Fast forward.  Back in Hawaii, this time an adult with my husband.  I began experimenting with different plants.  Herbs. Vegetables. Fruits.  Anything I could find at my local nursery I tried.  I had massive failures.  The squash plants that produced nothing.  The fennel that constantly produced nice quantities of aphids and not much else.  The tomatoes that became over run by ants.
But I also had some successes.  The hill that I inadvertently turned into a piece of art with impatiens.  Little did I know that impatiens have little seed pods that burst when touched.  I only wish I had taken a picture of it! I had massive successes with snow peas.  We were eating those like crazy.
Still though, it wasn't until New York, when I was more accustomed to looking things up on the internet did I really learn a lot.  All that being said, there is always something more to learn.
I taught myself all about herbs, the medicinal properties of Yarrow and how it helps with fevers.  I learned that Feverfew works wonders on the migraines I've had ever since I was a kid.  Chamomile was calming, catnip too.  St Johns Wort and depression.  Goodness I could go on and on.
I moved to Alaska (which by the way is my favorite state of all the United States) and I began learning how to identify plants while hiking.  Currants, highbush and lowbush cranberries, salmonberries, I even began trying to identify mushrooms!  Didn't eat them though, just looked.  I was pretty proud that I was able to identify an Amanita Muscaria right away, but then of course they're pretty easy to ID.
I still grew a variety of plants but mostly as container gardens like I did in New York.  Herbs, a small bin of potatoes that didn't really produce much.  Dill, mint, cilantro and parsley went nuts there!  I've never had such great successes!  Oh and the golden raspberries!  Two summers my neighbor and I feasted on golden raspberries!
Now I live in Maryland.  Oddly enough, I've had a lot of failures where I always had successes.  Dill has become ridicously dificult for me to grow.  Cilantro has become tempermental. Parsley on and off again.
Cucumbers, which I've never grown before, are easy as pie, eggplants as well.  Last year we had a massive amount of eggplants and this year we are planning even more this year.  I don't know how much of my successes and failures can be attributed to area conditions and how much to skill.

This leads me to a rant of some sorts.
Okay, I've had some successes some failures over the years.  Still though, if I had determine my exact success rate I'd actually say it was close to 65% and that was when I was an extreme newbie.
So what gets me is why more people don't grow veggies, herbs or fruits?  With the rising prices of food one can grow a simple tomato plant and maybe a few potted herbs and still manage to get quite a bit out of it.  I've seen apartment dwellers in Montreal(which by the way is a favorite vacation destination of ours) grow large, impressive gardens on their patio roofs and they barely have space at all so space cannot be used as an excuse. Heck, my house in New York didn't really have a yard.  Just a second floor deck and I had a massive garden there. I've also known some that use the "I have a black thumb" bit.  You know I know a lot of herbs that only asks for a few things. Water and sun.  I think in the end it all boils down to priorities.  What do you have time for?  How do you want to spend your money.  I know some who barely eat veggies or fruits.  Processed foods are the main staple of their diet.  By the way, when I say processed I mean over processed fish sticks, chicken nuggets, french fries, pizza, fast food, etc.  To them fresh vegetables are as foreign as living on Mars would be to us Earthlings.  No wonder that humans are starting to die rapidly of diet related diseases.  We eat junk.  Processed Junk.  Junk that is created to make us crave it even more.  We've gotten away from our hunter gatherer tendencies and tend to hunt and gather that sugary or salty treat at the local grocery store.  Our schools are feeding our kids junk simply because it's cheaper all the while our kids grow more obese and unhealthy.
I say more people should bring back Victory Gardens.  Let us triumph over a food system that is corrupt and doesn't care about the health of the people.  Let us be victorious in our gardens because we're not having to buy our produce from the local grocery store.  Let us teach our children how to grow their own food, reconnect to the Earth, and be more ecologically responsible.  To use a severely overused term, let us teach them to live more "GREEN".

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

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