My Solution to World Peace


This will come as no surprise to those of you who follow my blog, but I strongly feel and emphatically declare the world would be a far better place if everyone had a garden.  I’m convinced when people are growing things, they’re much less prone to destructive behavior.  Granted, violent extremists (and serial killers) seem beyond redemption, but the rest of humanity would gain immeasurably from a connection with the earth.  To cultivate a garden is to commune with the essence of life and the source of all creation.

“The best place to seek God is in a garden.  You can dig for him there. ” ~George Bernard Shaw

I urge planting herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers in an outdoor plot–convert a patch of lawn if need be–or as part of a community garden. This is a particularly good idea because it brings together people of all ages, from the very young to the elderly, and provides wonderful learning opportunities for children while tapping into the storehouse of knowledge many older people have.   The interaction between those joined in the common purpose of producing food and beautifying their neighborhood helps cultivate the people along with the plants.

Above pic from the site How To Start A Community Garden.

Our church has a communal garden with small plots for those who ask for them.  Folks garden side by side, sharing trials and triumphs and learning together.  More churches could do this if they tilled up part of their yard and put in vegetable plots  instead of only grass.

Sacrilegious?  I don’t think so.

Back to the garden, think sustainable methods, like making compost, and practice organic gardening.   Encourage beneficial insects, butterflies, and song birds to make their home in your yard.  You’d be amazed how many you can attract just by planting a patch of sunflowers and zinnias.

Anything that rots and hasn’t been sprayed with herbicide or pesticide can be used as mulch, although it’s best to compost the material first.  Old hay or straw make good mulch without needing to break down before using.   Different parts of the country have various natural material that can be used.  Organic matter feeds the soil and encourage earthworms.   Remember, as I tell my children and now grandchildren, happy worms make happy dirt.  Worms are the gardener‘s friend.  Non-hybrid, heirloom seed can be saved for next year and shared with others, and old-time flowers can be divided and spread around.

If digging in the earth isn’t an option for you, try growing plants in pots on a patio, deck, rooftop, sunny windowsill, or under fluorescent lights.  These can be fairly inexpensive to set up.   I used to have a stand with long fluorescent lights suspended over it about 6-10 inches above the foliage.   Raise the lights as the plants grow.  You’ll need warm and cool fluorescent bulbs for good plant growth, but not the more costly ‘grow lights.’  Although they’re good too.

“No two gardens are the same.  No two days are the same in one garden.”  ~Hugh Johnson

A film I really enjoyed about how gardening can reform and transform prisoners is Greenfingers with Clive Owen.  The movie is based on a true story which makes it even better, and it’s a love story, another plus, and the fabulous Helen Mirren co-stars.  I also really like actor David Kelly.  He’s wonderful.  The gardens featured  are gorgeous and I never tire of looking at Clive.   This is a feel good movie.

“Green fingers are the extension of a verdant heart. ” ~Russell Page

12 responses to “My Solution to World Peace

  1. If people were concerned about what really matters in this life, there would be a shortage of gardening supplies in the world!
    …You can quote me if you want…

    Choose Happiness & Success!
    Jennifer

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  2. Caroline Clemmons

    You’re so right. Until our well ran so low of water (due mostly to gas drilling in our area) we had a garden. Now we don’t have enough water or the cash required to drill a well to the next aquafer (480 feet) so we content ourselves with Earthkind roses and patio plants. I miss canning and having fresh produce from the garden. Nothing tastes better. We do still have a dozen peach trees. I’m checking out “Greenfingers” on Netflix now.

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    • So sorry about your well, Caroline, and the gas drilling taking away your water. You’re so right, nothing tastes better than freshly grown produce. I hope you find a way. Meanwhile, you are doing the best you can. I’m sure you will enjoy Greenfingers.

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  3. Great way of thinking, Beth. I had a garden in NJ (it really is the Garden State!), and one year even planted corn. (Sweet Jersey corn, fresh from the stalk…nothing better!) My church there planted a garden to give the fresh veggies to a local food bank. (Isn’t that a great idea??) I have a tiny little yard here, but there’s enough space to grow a couple things. Now if I could only grow some more hours in the day!

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  4. I tend to agree if people had something they were growing and cultivating and invested in–and immersed in nature, that there would be so much more peace. I would love to have a garden. My yard is all clay and rocky… I tend to kill most things, but I did plant a Japanese Maple in my front yard that seems to be doing well. I would love to have a vegetable garden and some lemon and apple trees… Maybe one day!

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  5. I agree, Beth. Digging and planting does it for me.

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  6. Pingback: Started my new garden « Green Ideas Co-op

  7. Pingback: Check You Roots » Steel Blue

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