Why are we doing this SFG thing?

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Going Green?First of all, and since this is my first post… Welcome to our blog. Please read more about who we are here.

For a while now, I’ve been pondering the effects of this global recession that we are in and how they may affect Kathy (my wife) and I. Living in South Africa, and being far removed from the rest of the worlds problems, we knew that we would all have to tighten our belts a bit but we were still feeling pretty secure… until a few weeks ago. When Kathy was retrenched.

That single event has now caused me to seriously rethink the direction that our lives were going in. Not that we had any specific step-by-step plan that we were following (we do have a good idea of the general direction) but it seemed that we were simply bumbling along in the right(ish) direction in a happy, contented and relatively secure manner…

Secure? Hmmm… not any more.

My research into the causes of and the effects (on the average ‘man-in-the-street’) of such a global economic meltdown were enough to give me a wakeup call as well as a good few nightmares.

Not only that but we are all bombarded daily by ever more frantic calls to ‘Go Green’, recycle, conserve water, conserve electricity, reduce carbon emissions, save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails, (thanks to George Carlin for that last bit – Warning: strong language)… all for the sake of saving the planet. For my own part, I now feel that I am suffering from a bad case of propaganda overload. Most of it is just propaganda, follow the money trail and you’ll soon find that big business, pharma, oil and a dozen other industries are all heavily involved in the green ‘movement’. Not for the good of the planet either, simply to make more money.

Of course we do our little bit as a family to recycle paper and plastic, donate what we can to a variety of causes, use the car less and just generally ‘show our concern’ for the environment, nothing serious but it’s our little effort to ‘do the right thing’. The problem is that it all seems pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Could we do more? Probably, but at a much greater financial cost – we simply cannot afford to ‘get more involved’ and splash out to install solar/alternative energy just for our tiny little household. We cannot afford a (new) electric car or even to convert our present one and make our own biofuel. Nor do we have any personal influence over those industry megaliths who are pumping millions of tons of toxic gases into our atmosphere every year.

So we sit, like everyone else, and ponder the questionable future of human kind in a sort of fatalistic ‘it doesn’t involve me‘ kind of way. Not much that we (personally) can do about the situation and the little that can be done has no real benefits that I can sink my teeth into and revel in the results.

My research into the effects of the global recession brought up a great concern about food security… I then read about the starving masses and their victory gardens during the last (Great) depression… which lead me to learn that South Africa has gone from being a net exporter of food to a net importer in only a few short years… Of course I’ve always been aware of the starving masses in the rest of Africa (hey, I live here too you know) but now this food security thing, or rather the lack of it, is getting a little too close for comfort. Not to mention the fact that basic food items are rather short on the shop shelves in Zimbabwe these days, which only a few short years ago was a very wealthy and abundant country.

Now combine those facts with a new incoming South African government that looks set to care even less about it’s people than the last incompetant bunch and you’ll see my reasons for having a bit of a gloomy forecast for the future.

Again, what could we possibly do about any of the above? I mean, even if we wanted to be a bit more self sufficient food wise, we couldn’t possibly do it in our tiny little townhouse garden could we? Or could we?

First I came across a website about an Urban Homestead which got the juices flowing a bit and then I stumbled across the official Square Foot Gardening website of Mel Bartholomew and something inside me just said… YES! At last, here was something that I could sink my teeth into, literally πŸ˜‰ Something that we could actually do and where we (personally) could see, feel and taste the fruits of our ‘Green’ labour.

Besides which, I have an agricultural matric that hasn’t been taken off the shelf and dusted in over twenty years. I still have fond memories of picking vegetables directly off the plant and I even vaguely remember how good they used to taste. I also tend to feel a great sense of achievement when my pot plants don’t immediately wither up and die on me a week after I buy them. And I love a challenge… So how many more reasons do I need to try my hand at Square Foot Gardening?

Oh, and by the way, my wife loves the idea too (a very important consideration) πŸ™‚

I really hope that this blog turns out to be an inspiration to someone else out there, even if it’s only one other person it will be well worth it. I would love to hear from you too. Do you also feel the need to do something different and useful in your life? Do you also dream of living a ‘simpler life’ like I do? Have you tried Square Foot Gardening before? Are you going to?

Please leave us a comment in the box below and let us know.

Cheers
Mark

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2 Comments on “Why are we doing this SFG thing?”


  1. Anneline Heyneke says:

    Hi SFG has been a great passion for me an I have read a lot about it I live in a garden flat and I must say my husband is not as pasionate about it as I am due to the box building thing cause that takes effort on the other hand he loves food We only eat meat every second day so I love my own veggies due to bad quality veggies in our town and the great tention relief gardening give me I learn and try constantly I will attemt to change my whole garden into a sfg garden this year because if I move house I take everything with me boxes compost etc lock stock and barrel Happy trying

  2. Rene says:

    I have a passion for planting and have set my self up with growing tomatoes (31 types) and 13 chilies I would like to promote urban gardening but need assistance with how to start were to go and who to ask for info
    Pls can any one help



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