Gardening Vivian | 03 Feb 2010 12:26 pm

Pendulistic Progress – An Essay About Personal Progress and Gardening

“Oh, grow up.” When we overheard this, even though we knew it was about asking someone to become “mature” the term seemed broader in its meaning implications. Of course at the beginning of the growing season one always wants the seeds and transplants to “grow up” become mature so that they can be used and useful as was the plan when they were planted.

We have watched our local Farmers market “grow up” from its initial small beginning to the well organized, well supported, and continuing to grow marketplace of fresh produce that it is today.

We have seen our community “grow up” and become an area of creativity and a joint expression of those who have been here a long time and those who are newly arrived.

We have aided, in our own small way, to New Mexico becoming a state with many small farms and gardens, which have been the impetus for the state to “grow up” as a forerunner of what, can be seen as, a possible model of local food production.

“Grow up” becomes an exhortation of a literal nature from Dr. Dickson Despommier, Professor of Public Health at Columbia University. In 1999, he began creating “living towers”, structures in urban areas which could feed 50,000 people organically and without transportation costs. This same concept won the Green Building Contest in 2007 for downtown Seattle.

“Grow up” to the National Wildlife Federation means go grow a portion of your land back to where it was before lawns turned suburban development into a monoculture. The Backyard Wildlife Habitat program certifies homeowners who “provide friendly environments for small mammals, birds, butterflies, and reptiles”. One of the main requests of the program is to raise native plants and trees that will eventually grow to provide a natural food and shelter for indigenous species.

There is a trend in urban areas for residents to want to “grow up” and be more self-reliant. National magazines of late have carried stories about those who have converted their front yards into vegetable gardens, retaining the backyard – the traditional garden space – for family personal use. The good thing about front yard gardening is that it is seen by more people, embedding the idea as they drive or walk by. The community garden concept has been around for some time, yet has never been able to grow up to its full potential.

Although we are wary of the overuse of the term “green”, it is encouraging that there is now a channel on television called Green that covers building green and other areas of green concern. Maybe our communications system will finally “grow up” and provide the masses with the vital information needed to grow up a culture concerned with something more than consumerism.

The meniscus inscribed by the swing of a pendulum has an infinite number of points between the apexes. Once awakening upon one of these points, we can place our progress as on the beginning down swing, somewhere on the bottom, awaiting to rise to the next level, or at that apex of change in which we recognize the movement and the opportunities growing in that trend.

It is not hard to get caught up in the dark reports we are given each day through the media, but in truth, it is a small black patch on a great white canvas, that is waiting for us to enhance with color and life. There is not one brush wielded by society – each individual has his own brush with which he can give old facts a new look. All we need to do is grow up.

Copyright (c) 2008
Giannangelo Farms Southwest

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