It’s been a lovely Sunday in surburbia, and so being middle class and middle aged, I made the compulsory trip to the garden centre with my beloved to buy compost and manure for the vegetable beds.
As I was digging a trench for the soon-to-have-bean row, it occured to me that I spend all week working indoors, on a computer, writing control software for a precision instrument, so at the weekend I can spend my money buying dirt and shit. I don’t know exactly what that is, but somehow it seems a bit messed up.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not campaigning for a return to some never-existed technology-free Arcadia. I like antibiotics and instant hot water and the day they take my Samsung n130 away is the day they prise it from my cold dead fingers. But sometimes when I’m standing at the kitchen window on a Monday morning, staring down the barrel of a working week, it seems like it could all be simpler and I wonder what the hell I’m doing.
Well, mostly I’m not starving to death, which is what would happen if I tried to live on what I grow. I’m a crap, randomly enthusiastic gardener. I’ve only been doing it for a couple of years, and there’s a lot to learn. I don’t know how to collect and store seeds properly. I don’t know how to propogate or take cuttings or prune apple trees. Of course I can learn, but it all takes time.
So kids, I guess the moral of the story is start learning to garden young. You’ll always be useful, and when the zombie apocalypse comes you won’t be shut oustide the stockade. And besides, it will bring you happiness.