By Michael Nolan
When Lauren Beckham Falcone from the Boston Herald wrote her lifestyle piece for the May 5th edition of the newspaper I doubt she anticipated drawing the ire of gardeners everywhere for her negative portrayal of the backyard garden.
She caught the attention of a tight-knit group of Twitter members, myself and Vanessa Richins included, who decided that we needed to inform her of the err of her ways so that we could perhaps curtail some of the damage her ill-conceived story would do to the readers.
“But Mr. Greenjeans wannabes, be warned: With wartime exceptions, Americans are about 100 years past our agricultural heyday.” says Falcone who obviously missed out on the current series on Good Morning America in which Joe Lamp’l is growing a $25 Victory Garden and doing so quite successfully I might add.
Her breakdown of costs included a $100 water bill which was even more laughable to me considering that for less than that she could have easily made her own rain barrel system ensuring that she’d probably never have to spend another dime watering her garden again. I recently came across an in-depth tutorial system at the Atlanta Watershed website that will help anyone to create their own rain barrels with basic tools and no previous experience.
What’s important for a new gardener to understand is that there will be some necessary expenses involved when you are starting anything from scratch just as if you were starting a hobby and had none of the necessary tools or equipment with which to do it. Taking advantage of such websites as Freecycle (an amazing resource that Vanessa and I fully agree on) can often yield much of what any fledgling gardener could need to get started – often including plants!
Thanks to Freecycle two years ago I was able to add to an already impressive collection of heirloom tomato seed varieties and I do my best to pay that forward just like most of the other members do.
My point here is that you should not allow half-hearted gardeners like Ms. Falcone to alter your resolve when it comes to starting your own garden. If you are worried about going it alone, seek out a community garden in your area or just ask for help at your local nursery or garden center.
You can also send questions to us here at Urban Garden Casual; we’re always more than happy to help you find the answers you need!