Dee and Cathy have watched Red Bucket Farm grow over the last several years. They are dear friends who have shared many meals with us; they have also laughed and cried with us. So I'm not offended when they refer to my last blog as "the best rant on the internet" or when they describe me as a "ruthless and strategic" urban farmer.
Ruthless and strategic refers to the fact that I don't get emotionally attached to a bush or a tree or even a chicken. For example, we have been attempting to grow gooseberries for years. After two attempts in different locations and about six years invested, we have finally arrived at a crop large enough to produce one fruit pie. And guess what? Even though it was delicious, I'm pulling out those thorny bushes---way too much trouble and space for too little food. It's just a matter of practicality.
Reactions to my last blog (May 29, 2015, The Cost of Gardening) varied widely. Many were stunned and silent, and one person accused me of being hostile. Interestingly, the folks who agreed with me felt the need to do so privately. A friend who operates a small business understood entirely---so many people expect a discount large enough to obliterate his profit. But the most telling response came from a lifelong farmer, a pig expert who I know at my church. When I told him about the cost-of-gardening blog and the responses to it, he laughed out loud and said, "Now you understand the economics of agriculture."
Ruthless and strategic? Yes, indeed.