When I was in the basement hooking up the grow lights a little while ago, Roy came down and asked me if I really wanted to have a garden this year. His argument was the time and labor involved, and being able to do the work with a toddler and being pregnant. I was kind of shocked in that he is always the one going on about hating tomatoes from the grocery store, and given that I was about to start my tomatoes, this was kind of ironic.
I asked him if he wanted pesticides in his tomatoes and he said no. I asked him if he wanted to have them ripen in the vine instead of in a truck en route from somewhere in California. He said no. I asked him, even though we like the farmers market, would he rather buy tomatoes that may or may not have chemicals in them and pay a lot for them. Again, he said no. Then I asked why he was even thinking about not having a garden.
We got into a conversation about how much it costs to run the lights and the water to take care of the garden and the time and effort on my part to tend to the garden. I understand where he is coming from with this but I also know that if I order the seeds from a place that I trust, and if I grow those seeds in soil that I know is not chemically treated or contaminated, and if we can have these healthy, sustainable food items from our own back yard, it was worth the cost of the lights and the water.
Plus, I enjoy it. I really enjoy gardening. Every season I am still amazed that a small envelope of tiny little seeds can produce pounds and pounds, of, well, produce.
An article in the Oct/Nov 2010 issue of Mother Earth News has a quote that kind of sums this up for me. It is from an article called Create an Edible Landscape by Rosalind Creasy "Food from your yard requires no shipping, little refrigeration, and less energy to plow, plant, spray and harvest the produce. You know which chemicals, if any, you use. Fully ripe, just-picked, homegrown fruits and vegetables, if eaten soon after picking, have more vitamins than supermarket produce that was usually picked under-ripe and is days or weeks old when you eat it."
Kind of makes it all seem worth the work.