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in liberty •  2 years ago 

Worth it, but not free


Have you ever seen the silly meme saying something like: "If we all gardened and traded our surplus with each other, we could eat for free!"?

When I see that I wonder what the person's definition of "free" is.

I think of "free" as meaning "without cost"; something for nothing.

Even when I pick Rocket Mustard, purslane, or prickly pear out of the yard to eat, there is a cost. It takes labor. Both for harvesting and for preparing.

If I were to garden, the cost would be even greater. There's labor, supplies, and (around here, anyway) water. TANSTAAFL, you know. Maybe you can avoid a bit of "taxation" this way, though.

Anyone who thinks only in terms of money traded for the food is missing almost everything related to cost.

This doesn't mean I am opposed to growing your own and trading the surplus. I'm not. I think it's a great thing to do and I encourage everyone to try it. But let's not fool ourselves that the food produced is in any way "free".


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I think gardening is a great hobby. I don't think it's reasonable for most of us – especially those living in urban areas – to live off our own plants. Upvoted and followed, thanks for sharing your thoughts!


Another problem with the idea is that even if both my neighbor and I took the time, effort, and resource expenditure to grow crops, we would still be limited by what grows where we live. In other words, I might want some bananas, but I can't grow 'em around here, and my neighbor can't either, and no amount of trading with them is gonna get me some bananas. Oh, maybe we could grow two different varieties of apples and trade those, but…