Food in Uncertain Times: How to Grow and Store the 5 Crops You Need to Survive
Continued from previous page
Ideally, we would like to have a small farm with some sheep and maybe water buffalo for milk, meat, and draft, and a full orchard, and of course, a pond for the ducks in addition to land for our garden and seed crops. But resilience is about just doing something now, making a start, doing what you can with what you have. And what we can do at the moment is lease some good gardening land that isn't too far from our home, and grow lots of food, and breed new varieties selected specifically for flavor and resilience. And we can just play around and try things and have fun.
MG: For gardeners who are just starting out, do you think there's something intimidating about the idea of the "perfect" garden?
CD: The issue of how to get a garden as perfect as possible -- that isn't my issue. My issue is, how can I get the highest yield of the most delicious food for the least possible time and effort? I'm lazy. I want to garden efficiently. Perfectionism really gets in the way of gardening efficiently. I don't talk about very much about perfectionism. Instead, I talk about what I call "selective sloppiness." I have spent a lot of time figuring out what I can get away with not doing. I even have a section in The Resilient Gardener that lists lots of things gardeners are frequently told to do that are unnecessary or even counterproductive.
Then, of those things that actually do matter, the question is, exactly how sloppy can I be about them and still get the results I want? What is the most appropriate level of sloppiness? What is, if you will, perfect sloppiness?
While I'm at it, I have to bring up that old adage that goes "Anything worth doing is worth doing well." Nonsense! Most things worth doing are not worth doing well. They are only worth doing sloppily. And lots of what most of us spend much of our lives doing is not worth doing at all. Anything not worth doing at all is certainly not worth doing well.
Forget perfectionism! I'm not perfect. You're not perfect. The rest of our lives aren't perfect. Why should our gardens be? Let's make practical gardens, resilient gardens. And let's manage our resilient gardens with cheerful, unapologetic selective sloppiness.