Once upon a time, it became obvious to me that having fun is fun…only as long as I never allow someone else to require it of me. The simplicity of it is connected to wanting the freedom to have fun, and understanding how to make that happen. The problem for most people that keeps them from allowing it to become a way of life, is that they feel obligated to pursuing activities driven by concepts that move them further and further away from understanding. The motivations for people to plant gardens and work in them will vary.
Those who believe the effort is just about not having to buy their veggies at the store need to consider the economics of their time spent. For most of us, the simple math will suggest we’d be better off pursuing other performance activity. The same is true for those of us whose hobbies include making bread, cheese, beer, and wine. If fun is left out of the equation, you could be pursuing a false economy. There is work involved, not the least of which is washing and sanitizing containers and utensils, that needs to be considered if you place any value on your time at all.
An avid sportsman told me the cost of fishing and hunting, besides dues to hunt clubs, included boat, trailer, camping gear, fire arms and munitions, an extensive apparel wardrobe, licenses and fees, the expense of trained dogs, and that doesn’t account for his investment of time. He said altogether, his cost of meat and fish last year averaged about seven hundred dollars a pound.
But if you want to hunt, fish, or garden (or make bread, cheese, beer, wine, etc.) and enjoy doing it, all the other reasons to justify the behavior, including the concept of having control over the contents of your food and beverage supply, are secondary. In fact, if you don’t enjoy it but do it anyway, how is that different from all the other compliance regimens that require us to be aboard some agenda other than our own?
Hobbies and avocations should be fun, and not allowed to become donkey-work. And that also goes for many other projects, even home maintenance. If the rent for allocated storage space for ladders and tools, the cost of getting those tools, and if the value of your time is not a consideration, the only cost of repainting your house is just the price of the paint…plus spackling paste, caulking, thinners, cleaners, masking tape, drop-cloths, rags, antibiotic ointments, bandages, splints and crutches (which you will need when you fall off the ladder), along with other supplies including liquid refreshments for the painter. You might consider these last few items to be essential if your other hobbies include making beer and wine, with a possible exception for refreshments already paid for.
For the pure fun of it, try this:
Pick out a small patch of ground (or a patio box if you have an apartment with a balcony or patio), and plant caps from beer bottles. Then, show it to people from time to time, and act as if you genuinely expect it to grow a beer garden. Be enthusiastic about it. The more excited you seem, the more fun you’ll have with their reaction. One visitor was so taken by such lunacy that he left immediately to go to the store, returning with a case of beer and placed it in my garden. I left it there. The next visitor was invited to go with me to my garden to pick beer. If this doesn’t happen for you, I’ll beg your pardon.
There’s just no end to the fun you can have with this sort of thing. Next year, I’m planting the corks from bottles of expensive wines. If a case of Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Dom Perignon, Giacomo Borgogno Barolo, Ghost Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, or any Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese shows up, I’ll call you. Then, we’ll plant Scotch bottles!
In the meantime, I’m going smile hunting. Game warden says it’s always open season, no license needed, and there’s no bag limit. Additionally, the more you catch and release, the more you harvest. If you want, you can throw in a few handshakes and hugs if targeted recipients of them find it acceptable, and rock on chilluns, rock on!