Hello all, my friend and I did a saucy little article exchange for our various sites and here is my zombie movie obsessed friend's contribution as to why he doesn't share our plant sentiments:
You should all know what you're getting into.
This is an attempt by an individual completely unenamored with the the gardening lifestyle to come to some sort of definitive conclusion as to why he does not partake in the growing and nurturing of ANYTHING, even a potted plant or a flower. I'd like to think that it won't help you "know your enemy" any better. As far away as my interests lie from gardening, there's an odd appeal to it. I have layers of respect for the people that do it often and do it well. Watching my friend Persephone tackle her beautiful monstrosity on a daily basis is almost heroic. She's so little! It's so big! It makes her so angry! Why does she keep going back?! I can't imagine being a dedicated gardener is anything less impressive than being a true geek about anything. Its just that you guys seem to get the proper amount of exercise. Hm. Exercise. Free food. Sunlight. What isn't there to like?
There must be some kind of invisible force keeping me away from the act of nurturing plants, vegetables, fruits and herbs. They would be tasty in my meals, and I could simply walk outside to the backyard and grab something to eat instead of plopping down what little money I have on gas and fast food. It would even make most trips to the grocery obsolete. It makes a ton of sense in my head, and it makes even more cents in my wallet. So what in the world could be stopping me from making my life easier, cheaper, and busier.
I guess it comes down to two things. One, I don't have a backyard. And two, you can't grow meat on a tree. Because as soon as a beefergreen is invented, I will be the first one in line with my cash, a large pot, and all the love and care a human can give an inanimate life form. In my current situation (i.e. a single bedroom apartments with nowhere to put any plants besides the patio), there is simply no room for something that won't produce a tangible thing for me. My apartment is pretty bare as is, except for a couple of movie posters snagged from Best Buy in the middle of the decade. I don't typically feel the need to keep the place adorned with items of purely decorative purpose, especially not the ones that cost money and time to maintain. Even my 4 ft x 4 ft Kill Bill poster would come down if it required a daily glossing and rehanging. Those things just aren't that crucial to where I am in life. In short, flowers and ferns don't do it for me. I need something to gain out of what I'm putting in. I don't cook enough to warrant growing my own spices (I switch between "just not good enough at it" and "just don't want to" on a regular basis). The fact is, if I am going to provide and care for something, it had better fit one of the following criteria: Make me food or play fetch.
Right now, in 2009, these are the only things that will allow living organisms in my house. Since I live in an apartment complex that doesn't even allow fish, the organisms fighting for my attention have decreased even more substantially. In addition to the strict rules and space constraints of my home life, there's the work life to consider. I work in retail. I have no set schedule, and some months out of the year are insanely demanding. I also run a movie and media website when I get home (You guys cultivate soil, I cultivate articles), and it has increasingly been taking up about 20 to 30 hours a week of my time just providing it with the care it needs just to stay online and attract an audience. Adding ANOTHER routine to these already existing ones - especially one that offers no incentive other than "it looks pretty" - simply doesn't rate.
To be perfectly honest, as a single guy, gardening is just a little silly. And to counteract that, I can give this guarantee: When I have a house with a backyard, a wife, and kids, you can bet your butt I'll be getting a garden. There will be a rotating arrangement of people to watch it. There will be a cheaper way to feed multiple mouths. It'll be healthier and more delicious for all involved. Plus, the economy will have long tanked by that time and a garden will be the only place to get reliable food in our Mad Maxian country without resorting to cannibalism. What I'm saying is that I am not beyond hope. It just may take the apocalypse to really get me 100% behind this plant thing.
On a slight tangent around cooking one's own food - if Persephone ever offers to send you some of the food that she makes, take her up on it. It's almost 100% homegrown, and it is the best homecooked food I have ever had in my life. Ooh, that's another bullshit reason why I don't grow anything. I can't do it nearly as well as she can, so why try? I could do this all day.
What it all boils down to is this simple fact. As a 29-year-old apartment living, retail working, website running human, there is not enough time for me to garden the way I want to, and not enough incentive to take care of anything that would provide me with anything useful. I look forward to the time in my life where I have several other human beings dependent on my ability to feed and clothe them. I plan on growing a good portion of the amount consumed myself, hopefully with the input of Persephone and her Greenthumb Army. It'll be an adventure, and one I'll attack with gusto. All of the right components have to fall into place first. Including beefergreens. Man, I can't wait until we invent beefergreens.
Tom Nix is a media enthusiast currently living in Memphis, TN. He is the primary content provider and editor-at-large for The Red Circle dot Com. When not contributing to the site, he enjoys an unfortunately expensive DVD and Blu-Ray collection, arguing film and music as often as possible, and tearing through Rock Band drumsets like butter. One day he will amount to something. Wait for it. (http://www.theredcircle.com/blog/)