Sunday, March 20, 2011

Is Gardening again becoming a necessary life skill?

The co-incidence.
In this blog post I am re-posting a piece I first posted on back in May 2009. A few weeks after I first posted this the article was hacked and my website brought down by a virus planted on the site by hackers. My site hosting and maintenance guys said the attacks were targeted at this article possibly due to the mention of the White House. They fixed my website as luckily we got the attack early. Sometimes its very hard to get away from the feeling some things are predestined. As you will see on my last blog piece this week our primroses landed in the very place I was highlighting in the article below.
Due to this amazing coincidence and the fact that the White House Garden project or the trend towards people growing their own vegetables wasn't just a passing fad I decided to re post this piece. I would also like your opinion on the questions posed at the end.
Is Gardening becoming a necessary life skill?
Original post.
This is probably not so hard to believe from some of us who have been around the block before. One of the silver linings for us as Horticulturists in somewhat depressing times like these is that people have more time to spend reassessing their interests, what is important and un-important. So far it looks like the signs so far are telling us that nature, growing your own and generally appreciating the garden, parks and the free or not so expensive things in life are coming out as important.

In the USA there has been a very encouraging and dedicated lobby since last November to have a vegetable garden planted in the grounds of the White House and from the picture here you can see this has been successful and has begun. Congratulations are due to the idea instigator to the people who worked on and supported this project and for achieving such success. Have a look at the official White House Farmer website WWW.WHITEHOUSEFARMER.COM .

With the eyes of the world on the new American first family this image on the White House farmer website has to be one of the most interesting garden images this month and many of us in the Horticulture world could not have imagined such an image emanating from such a prestigious and austere location until now.

A number of months ago I came across a saying from a contemporary American writer called Orson Scott Card which goes 'Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden'.

We have to hope that mass unemployment is not what it will take to get many of us to plant a garden. It's an unfortunate and interesting fact that sometimes it takes shocks of great magnitude to make some of us realize what's important and what's not. We can only hope now that when the world economy does eventually recover some lessons will have been learned and children will remember the folly of some of their elders in neglecting a few basic life skills and considerations that are the essence of our existence. Whether it be for food or for pleasure plant life is beneficial to mankind even the humblest apparently undesirable weed gives benefit to the planet and our immediate environment. For those of us who depend on gardening for a living let's hope that the many skills in the industry the great plants, fruit and vegetables that are produced by our sector will be valued and appreciated much more, by a greater amount of people and a new kind of consumer and gardener.

Lets hope our time in the sun has come.
Now almost two years on what do you think? Have we seen a change of mindset towards people in our profession or trade? Will the young people all over the world who have been exposed to the many projects like the White House Garden be better off for this new trend? Is it too early to say it has changed anything in the longer 25 year perspective when these children will be adults with children of their own?


  1. Definitely, gardening should be a life skill. I do think that things are changing a bit. I teach gardening once a week at the local school and there is great interest from children and parents. There are also lots of polytunnels appearing in this neck of the woods.

  2. I agree with Bridget although I teach adults to grow their own. I'm a latecomer to horticulture and found my way there as an adult who couldn't provide food for her family. It was more the worries about the future of our environment and our reliance on others to provide our food that sent me along this path and my desire to teach/show our own children where food comes from.

    Gardening in schools is becoming more popular and hopefully that change of mindset will only improve, especially with the introduction of SEED to help schools to include it in their curriculum.

  3. Thanks for the comments Bridget and Dee, Youre both doing great work. Anyone local to you looking to enhance those skills in a practical way would be well advised to check in with you both. Maybe the education curicculum might find some way to include tution such as you provide for adults and extend it to children.

  4. Yes I also agree with you. Now a days people are so busy in their own world that they scarcely have time for gardening and other things.I personally love garden and gardening.I think this is the best way to relax. Gardening also make you happy and it creates bonding with your trees and plants in your garden.
    Stevia Plant


Please leave us a message