Future Building

Gardeners Give a Fuck

Quoted Audacious Gardening: On Daring to Care – The Planthunter (The Planthunter)

A personal essay on life and gardening by Georgina Reid.

Gardening is simply a framework for engagement with our world, grounded in care and action. To garden is to care deeply, inclusively, and audaciously for the world outside our homes and our heads… To be a gardener is to give a fuck. To be a gardener is to be invested in a place—to know it, to protect it, and to be present.
Georgina Reid

This is a good metaphor.

Gardeners plant and tend things that they won’t get to appreciate, trees that won’t mature till we’re dead. We invest in the future, planting bulbs and trusting they will bloom after the dark winter. We are patient, letting young plants take their time to fill in after three to five years. It looks a little sparse there at the beginning, but we know it will grow into something spectacular.

We (hopefully) plant with a vision — and if we’re wise we’ll listen to the plants and adapt our vision to reality, accepting the plants that can thrive instead of coddling the ones we want but that hate our conditions.

We do the boring groundwork of enriching the soil, making it a place where our plants can survive.

We wage the endless battle against invasive weeds that steal our nutrients.

We (hopefully) learn from our failures even as we keep up hope the next experiment will succeed, and aren’t afraid to try new things. We continuously learn and grow along with our garden.

We embrace the seasons, celebrating the best of what each offers – bulbs and annuals in spring, perennials and grasses in summer, textural elements and evergreen foliage in winter.

Future Building

Trading Activism for Personal Action

Quoted Knitting at the end of the world – Austin Kleon (Austin Kleon)

George Orwell on the importance of hobbies in times of political turmoil.

“Only two ways of reacting to the current crisis of nature were offered. On the one hand, there was ‘fighting’. This fighting was to be aimed at the ‘elite’ that was destroying the planet – oil companies, politicians, corporate leaders, the rich. On the other hand, there was ‘giving up’. Giving up meant not fighting. It meant running away from a necessary battle. It meant being selfish. It meant ‘doing nothing’, and letting the planet go to hell.


All of this hinged on a narrow definition of what doing something involved, and what action meant. It seemed to suggest that action must be something grand and global and gestural. Small actions were not actions at all: if you couldn’t ‘change the world’ there seemed little point in changing anything.”

Paul Kingsnorth, via Austin Kleon

This discussion and diminishment of personal, direct action arises often in the environmental field. We need systemic change but I still feel there is value in living in accordance with your values and being cognizant of the resources you personally use, even if the system makes it hard to reduce that and your individual contributions are a pittance compared to corporate impacts. But especially right now when we’re basically holding back the floodwaters and can’t make progress with a hostile government, there’s no sense in giving up entirely.

Or maybe this is appealing to me because I can do something and feel like I’ve accomplished something, which excuses me from fighting the big fight.