I’m not exactly sure how I wound up living in a tipi on an organic farm. It was 1978, and I was in California, and it was a time and place when things like that could happen. I had just graduated college, and for years my hands had held books, not basil or beans. My fingers had never before squeezed a goat’s udder, or lifted an earthworm from the soil. The year I spent as a farm apprentice opened up a whole new world to me—and gave me a precious look into the vast and beautiful ecosystem that surrounds us.
I decided to go to Agriculture School, after which I was hired to manage a large organic farm in New Jersey. Though I’m no longer a commercial grower, I’ve maintained large gardens ever since. I relish the time spent in my garden—hoeing weeds, deadheading flowers, harvesting vegetables and herbs. It’s quiet time, peaceful and productive. I nourish the plants and they nourish me right back.
It’s surprisingly easy to start a garden and there are many reasons to do so. Organic gardening covers a lot of bases in Anticancer living: it’s great exercise (Fitness), it’s meditative (Mindset), and it adds fresh, wholesome, unsprayed veggies, herbs, and fruits to your meals (Diet and Environment).
Though it’s been years since I lived on a farm, gardening and eating organic foods has helped keep me grounded and connected to the food I eat. I hope you feel inspired to start gardening or at the very least enjoying organic produce this summer. Enjoy!