Beyond the Practical

Independence, efficiency, climate change. I can think of a lot of practical reasons why growing your own food, even if you live in the city, is a smart idea.

Despite all of that, many people remain unconvinced. Why?

The individuals I have met who are passionate about Personal Urban Farming (PUF) are passionate for more reasons that just the practical stuff (although that’s a part of it, too). There’s something about this wild and crazy new-age concept that goes deeper than logical thinking.

As far-out there as that may seem, that’s what I’d like to explore a little bit in today’s blog. I’ve come up with five reasons—besides the obvious—that PUF can make an incredible and lasting difference in your life.

There are actually scientific studies that prove this to be true. No matter how old you are, it is important to be open to learning new things—and not just things that you need for your day job.

PUFs are the perfect lifelong learning opportunity. Deciding which plants you want to grow, creating the right environment—even choosing how to use your produce once it’s mature—all of these steps require a curiosity and passion for learning that enriches quality of life.

In the first chapter of his book, Food and Nutrition, author Paul Fieldhouse jumps right into the conversation of culture and what we eat:

“Where it is easily seen that the direct consequences of food intake are biological—food meets the energy and nutrient needs of the body—it is also apparent that the nature of that food intake is shaped by a wide variety of geographical, social, psychological, religious, economic and political factors,” Fieldhouse writes.

If you have ever wanted to learn more about yourself—who you are, where you come from, and so on—delving into the world of food might be the opportunity you have been seeking.

When you think of trying to master a new system to grow your own food, it might not sound like a particularly relaxing undertaking. According to a study that was published in the Journal of Health Psychology, though, gardening can have an effect on the mind that actually reduces stress—even more so than reading a book.

Now, with PUFs, that stress relief is available indoors, year ‘round.

For us and our work, this community will start with an online database. You may have heard me mention it before. It is our goal to organize a database with input from hundreds—maybe thousands, maybe millions—of people, connecting you to other PUF-enthusiasts, their mistakes, successes and valuable insight.

Imagine, too, the real-time conversations you could have with neighbors, friends and family, as you embark on this new adventure of growing your own produce. Our collective knowledge could go along way in developing new sustainable farming practices—and bettering our communities, simultaneously.

Why do you care about PUFs? How has growing your own food impacted your life — besides the practical or the obvious?