A Producer’s Mentality
Beginning a garden is a healthy way to survive the day to day turmoil that we are subject to. To achieve this goal all we need is the motivation. Your garden will provide many things that will help you to keep your vigor. The most obvious being the fresh produce, but this produce is not the first benefit we receive from our garden.
Initially, we have to motivate ourselves to do some work without pay. This is a difficult situation for many people raised in a society where cash is king. Once we motivate ourselves out of the slave labor mentality and into the mind set of a producer, we can realize that we have already accomplished something.
The next task is also mental but of a different sort. We must think about how we are going to successfully produce something. Again, the modern person may struggle to overcome the slave labor conditioning of always being handed a task. We must become the thinker we are capable of being. By taking it upon ourselves to build a garden we will have to make some decisions about how we are going to achieve this goal. Where will this garden be located? Without a yard, balcony or rooftop one will have to grow indoors or go further out into the community. A neighborhood vacant lot may be an option or a garden can be located on top of a concrete driveway.
The fundamentals of gardening are the same no matter where you are growing. Your garden needs to grow in something. That will be soil or a soil medium and the size of your challenge will depend on the size of your garden. Regardless of where the garden is located, you will need clean materials to construct your containers and growing medium (soil, etc.). Be sure to investigate the sources of the materials you plan to use. For example, if you are purchasing compost, you should inquire about the source of the compost. If it is produced from landscaping waste like sod and grass clippings, think about how people treat their lawns nowadays. The most common lawn care products contain artificial fertilizers and chemical pesticides, along with genetically engineered seeds. One will have to use their mind to avoid falling prey to the businesses trying to sell you waste packaged as good product.
After building your growing beds, adopting a crop rotation plan and acquiring good seed are the next steps. It will take planning your crops a year in advance, recording what worked and what did not work each season, finding a good seed company and establishing a relationship with an existing gardener to have a solid plan. It helps to balance the mental work with the physical labor of building the growing beds by switching from one to the other so as to not burn out on one. As long as you apply mulch to suppress weed growth, by the time you put your seeds or plants in the ground, most of the work is done. To go along with your fresh produce, the health benefits of which are well known, you will have accomplished something greater. The challenge we all face, especially those trapped in the “modern” world, is to change from consumer to producer – the kind of producer that benefits our planet. The only true obstacle to this change is within our own minds. We must give up the ease, comfort and laziness to accept the challenge of living a life in harmony with our world.
Products of Genocide
There is a history to everything. The things that surround us all have untold stories about how they came to be where they are today. For us in the consumer culture we only know the very last chapter of these stories, the chapter in which we purchased it and brought it home. This may give one the feeling of being a stranger in an environment.
It is a marked contrast from living in a village, farm or even a town where one knows the history of all, or most of the things that surround them. One will know where the food comes from, the building materials, the clothes, who makes these things and so on. In these settings, one has a better understanding of where they come from by knowing the history of their own family. But within the consumer culture the products we purchase from the cashier with a smiling face are not as wholesome as it had been on the farm or in the village.
Take a box of rubber bands for example. Rubber has a history that has caused multiple genocides. The interesting thing about genocide is that most people say that they did not know it was happening until it was too late, until it was over, or that it was a part of history that is not happening any more. There have been conflicts in Mexico, Brazil, Congo, Liberia, Vietnam, Philippines and others countries that have resulted in mass casualties, mass suffering and environmental destruction in order to establish rubber plantations. A second interesting thing is that every genocide differs. This means that if we consider the details of a previous atrocity and compare it with current events, there will be differences. That does not mean that the outcome will be different, there are many ways to tear down a house. Current events show us that rubber is being produced in greater amounts than ever before.
So what is the consumers’ impression of how the rubber is being produced? If one reads the N.Y. Times, they might come across an article in which the author is interviewing the president of a rubber company. A picture of the plantation will be painted to show a place where on a Southern Style plantation, 80,000 people will live close to the trees with housing, churches, schools, medical facilities, wages, rice and electricity provided. Another article may tell of the child labor, human rights abuses, poisoning of waterways with toxic chemicals and other atrocities. A consumer’s impression of how rubber is produced will ultimately depend on an individual’s understanding that the history of a person, in this case an organization, is the most accurate indication of the current and future behavior of that organization. The consumers’ decision to affect the situation will depend on their intelligence and discipline to not indulge their desires for things with histories they prefer not to know.