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January 2018
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Gardening for Eeyores – 100 Reasons to Not Start a Garden


I’ve spent so much time talking about why to garden and how to garden and why I garden that I sometimes forget that, hey, not everyone gardens. Sometimes I find myself standing at the seed rack at the local megamart (though I dislike buying seed there mostly) waiting for someone to come along that I can talk to about gardening. For everyone that walks by I wonder – why aren’t you gardening?

But I don’t really have to go that far. I can sit in my own home and for about every 100 emails and comments I get I hear from someone who just doesn’t know where to start. That is fine, I want to help those people remember what they once knew. Though it’s my contention that as humans we found out how to garden and we inherently know – not gardening is a modern condition. Like not knowing how to swing a hammer, cook a meal or hunt down our prey. It’s possible that the things we’ve had to fill our heads with to keep up in the modern age are seemingly pushing out the things we inherently knew.

But I also get the occasional email or comment giving me some reason as to why that person can’t garden or can’t do it self-sufficiently. This really breaks my heart. I realize that not only has evolution failed this person, because your brain should be telling you it’s the right thing to do. But I also despair a bit because that person won’t be teaching their children and won’t be doing it for themselves and their family.

There really are so many reasons to not garden. But hey there are a million reasons to not get out of bed in the morning. Excuses will only get you so far. Well actually in my experience they get you nowhere. So let’s explore some of those excuses as if they were viruses that need treatment and let’s treat the illness!

I Tried But Failed

One of my listeners calls me the Garden Guru. Surely it’s more of my Zen Buddhist leanings rather than my garden knowledge. Because I sure don’t see it. I’m no expert and no one really is one. If I tell you to “listen to me or follow me, I’m the expert” you can pretty well be assured that eventually I will fail but I won’t be able to admit it because I’ll have to give up my expert card  LOL.

Failing is a normal part of gardening. Giving yourself over to nature and understanding that she’s a jigsaw puzzle that you’ll never quite work out. Understand that with time you’ll accept it. A failure is not the end of the world but rather a teaching opportunity. So the next time someone tells you that they don’t have a green thumb remind them that your ancestors survived by bucking that notion fast, quick and in a hurry-like.

May you never be whole, may you never be complete, and may you never be perfect.

I Don’t Have Room

Hey not everyone has ten, five or even one acre. Hell I only have four. I did a calculation that if everyone in the US got an equal (NOT FAIR) share of the land we’d each (man, woman and child) get 2.5 acres. That’s kind of scary even at that amount. Because keep in mind that there would be no farms. Your land would be a farm; everyone’s would.

But barring some government reallocation of land (how scary would that be?) the land you have is the land you have. And if you find yourself in a city in a concrete tower (as a listener pointed out) then what can you do?

Self sufficiency comes in steps. You don’t wake up one day and find yourself to be completely independent. You get to 1% then 4% then 8% and you could be happy with that. I don’t preach complete self-sufficiency. It’s a journey, not a destination.

When the people of Cuba got cut off from the USSR during its collapse they were told to find any piece of suitable land and grow your own food – the government won’t be able to do it for you. And they did and they survived and for the most part are more independent.

Now I’m not advocating you taking any land by force but you have to think outside the box. There are community gardens that you could take advantage of. If you have a close neighbor ask them if you can use a small patch of their garden and share. Many CSA programs will allow you to come on the farm and help for a discount share.

Barring that, find a sunny spot, a window and grow a basil plant. You’ll be surprised at how much it improves your cooking.

If you still doubt that you can, check out what this woman did.

What’s the Use?

This excuse usually starts with the words since and if and ends with the phrase – what’s the use? You know, like Eeyore always says.

Since I can’t possibly grow a large enough garden to feed my family why bother.

If the economy crashes it won’t be enough.

Or the government or thieves will take it.

Geesh, why get out of bed in the morning? Someone may come put a gun to your head and end it all. I worked with a guy that used to always say, “We don’t plan to fail”. Don’t confuse that with planning for failure. But we don’t automatically assume that the task is unworthy just because we have obstacles.

I Just Don’t Have Time

I once hypothesized that the reason older people liked to garden was that they could spend the time it required to upkeep a garden. Then I realized that they spent lots of time there because they actually wanted to.

It’s understandable that a lot of people work forty hour plus weeks and they don’t have time to spend hours in the garden. But they usually have some time even if it’s easier to just say they don’t and go on.

People seem to forget that there’s a morning too. Now I’m not a morning person but for those of you who get up at the buttcrack of dawn to sit around drinking cup after cup of coffee you have time to garden.

For those of who come home and sit down to watch reality TV for hours on end. You have time. Get a flashlight if you need to. You can’t unwind in front of a TV. It takes a garden to do that.

The worst one by far that I hear is this one, “I can’t garden because I’ve got 2, 3, 4 or 8 kids.” WHAT? You need to be gardening more! The kids are home before you more than likely. If they are old enough set tasks for them to do before you get home.

Gardening Costs Too Much

It’s true that you can spend $64 on a tomato but it’s also true that you can get baskets of them for less than a penny. Gardening gives you what you put in it. You put no time and no effort in and a lot of money and you end up with really expensive produce. Crap in – crap out.

I challenge anyone who listens to my podcast and tries the things I talk about to show me how you cannot save money gardening.

Someone Else Will Do It For Me

I may dislike this excuse the worst of all. 

We’ve ceded our responsibility to provide our family with food…by our own hand.  Its easy to get lulled into complacency.  The modern world is capable, but for how long?  Resources are depleted.  Shortcuts are taken with our safety.  The country is going into deep debt to subsidize things it has no right to pay for. 

I’d like to do as much as I can for myself and not rely on the government fascist oligarchy.


Ok, so it isn’t quite 100 reason but if you count all the variations you can easily come up with 100 reasons.  The point is that there is always a reason not to do something.  You can set around and lament for all the reasons that it is impossible or you can go make it happen!