I recently came home from vacation to an empty fridge. I love to eat fresh healthy foods, and I hate for things to go to waste. Before I left town, I used up most of my produce, and shared the rest with a friend. So I knew I would basically come back to condiments. I had planted several seed pods in my Rise Garden the week before I left. I walked in the front door and saw my indoor garden lush and blooming with fresh herbs and lettuces. After a week away, I was ready for something fresh, but not in the mood to rush to the grocery store. Having my little garden to harvest from was such a comfort to me.
Self reliance is an empowering principle that teaches us to take care of ourselves, as well as be in a position to help others. Being able to grow my own food helps me feel more confidence, independence, and peace. I have more security about the future, no matter what comes next, because I can rely on myself to provide for some of my needs. Whether there is a run on the grocery store shelves, or conditions prevent me from leaving my home, I have peace of mind knowing I can grow food myself.
For me, practicing self reliance doesn’t mean I’m going off the grid like a doomsday prepper. However, growing my own garden does mean I’m not entirely dependent on others for my food. I can choose the plants my family eats and enjoys, I can choose what nutrients I want from the food I grow. I feel empowered knowing I can provide for myself, my family and share with others.
During WW2, families were encouraged to grow “Victory Gardens.” These gardens, sometimes big or small, were planted in order to prevent a food shortage, and to ensure there was enough food for our soldiers fighting around the world. Planting a garden, even a small one, helps us develop confidence to take care of our own needs. Growing our own food also provides nutritious foods that help our bodies stay healthy. Plus it tastes amazing fresh!
I am all on board with the freedom and peace that comes from being able to provide for myself, but I live in Arizona. What do I mean by that? So far in 2020, 144 days have been OVER 100 degrees. Growing a garden here is rough. I’ve tried soil gardens, raised bed gardens, container gardens, and failed every time. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done, I’ve just never succeeded at it. It takes careful soil cultivation and a green thumb to get it right.
Rise Gardens' hydroponic garden system helps me achieve having fresh, healthy food and becoming more self reliant. It’s so easy to grow and harvest food. I bought 2 of the shortest units last year to put under my kitchen window and couldn’t be happier with them. Rise Garden takes the guesswork out of what the plants need. The app calculates what nutrients I need and how much. Once a week I refill the water and check nutrients. I cut the lettuce and herbs and then they regrow. After several cycles, I can harvest the entire plant and grow something new. I save money on produce as I only cut exactly what I need (no fridge rotting), and one seed pod provides several cycles of produce. I’m getting a variety of nutrients and so much satisfaction from growing it myself.
Coming home to a fresh and ready garden brought me so much joy. I made a breakfast smoothie with kale and mint, and a salad for lunch with all the fresh lettuces and herbs. I had time before I needed to grocery shop. It gave me a little buffer time (and a huge hit of nutrients). In uncertain times, a little stability goes a long way. Growing my own garden has empowered me. Through gardening, I’m able to have more peace (and parsley) at home.
Written by: Amy Tenney (Rise Gardens customer and super fan, @amytenneyyoga)