Weekly Column- June 20
One of the most common objections put to us here in GIY about food growing is the amount of time it takes. It is a reasonable thing to be concerned about because of course all of us are supposedly time poor in this modern age. I’ve always wondered about that expression – time poor – it seems an odd thing to pair the words ‘time’ and ‘poor’ together. We can be actually poor, and not have any money, but time poor people have exactly as much time available to them as everyone else. It’s what we choose to do with that time that really counts.
Sometimes I have to spend time ironing – it’s not something that I ever enjoy or would choose to do if I didn’t have to. But I choose to spend time growing food not because I really have to, but because I love it. I’ve never worked out how long I spend in the veg patch each week, because it’s not time I resent spending. Doing a rough tot, I suppose it’s maybe 6-8 hours a week at this busy time of year. I find that as the years pass, the time I spend GIYing becomes as much about the journey as the destination.
Thankfully, these long summer days give me the chance to get out to the veg patch in the early mornings and late at night. This morning before anyone in the house was up, I stirred myself to get out of the bed to do an hour in the veg patch. I planted out some cucumber plants in the polytunnel, pinched out the sideshoots on the tomato plants, and planted out my sweetcorn. Eventually, this time spent GIYing will invariably result in some food that we can eat – but that’s hardly the point. These stolen moments in the veg patch, when the world is just awakening itself, are the most precious moments of all.