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I can't think of anything more satisfying than getting close
to nature, getting your hands dirty and harvesting your own fruit and vegetables
Back in the '70s there was a very popular BBC sitcom called The
Good Life. It was about a young couple, Tom and Barbara Good,
trying to live a completely sustainable lifestyle in suburban London,
much to the bafflement of their middle-class neighbours. But it seems
that this idea of self-sufficiency has really caught on over the last
30 years and a lot of us are now craving our own version of "the
I smile ruefully when I think of the image of young hipsters making
homemade tomato puree to go on top of the hand-made pasta. I smile
because in my eyes they are living the dream. But it's not a new
dream. Many have been living it for generations. Long before Tom and
For too long we've built busy lifestyles around the knowledge that we
can get our food easily from supermarkets. In our haste we haven't
noticed (or have chosen not to notice) how floury and tasteless the
apples are. Or the growing number of processed and packaged foods that
we mindlessly throw into the trolley. We don't seem to consider
whether the vegetables are actually in season. Or the huge amount of
preservatives that we're feeding our family.
Or do we? The demand for growers markets and organic foods is
stronger than ever before. Does this indicate a burgeoning age of
enlightenment? Personally, I can't think of anything more satisfying
than getting close to nature, getting your hands dirty and harvesting
your own fruit and vegetables. It's incredible how much can be
produced in even a small area. And a larger area means you can feed
extended family and friends as well.
Growing your own food is not only good for the mind and body (and
environment) but good for the soul as well. So many of us have become
completely detached from the rhythms and cycles of nature. But there
may be an imminent change in our collective consciousness. More of us
are actually starting to think about where
our food comes from. This idea is also being promoted through
mainstream media, with television programs dedicated to carving out a
subsistent life on the land. And even if this message is coming from
huge commercial franchises like MasterChef, the end result is still positive.
The first week of September is Landcare Week, and
everyone is encouraged to get more in touch with nature. And you don't
have to be a TAFE horticulture
student to do this. Anyone can become involved, whether you live in
the country or in an inner-city apartment block. Landcare Week is
about protecting our wonderful country's natural resources. About
getting our hands dirty, and reconnecting with the land.
So even if you start modestly by growing some fresh herbs in little
planters on the kitchen windowsill or the balcony, it's still a step
in the right direction. It's still a step towards the good life.