It all starts when you visit your friend’s plants...”Wow! What a sight!” Such happy, green little beauties perky and content, and you think to yourself, "I could probably do this, in fact, this looks like fun." You then visit your local grow shop where all the perks and none of the downsides of the hobby present. You are told, "You will love it!" Or "This can be a lot of fun!" But never, "You're going to be sucked in, a man obsessed, you’re going to spend a lot more than you are figuring." Who knew the degree of patience, persistence, and satisfaction that was going to be involved? Who knows? …Other urban farmers!
Urban farmers/growers are a community of people that have found that "raising" plants is one of the more gratifying hobbies ever! In the big scope of things with all the events happening in our lives and around the world, it's just a plant...who cares? For some reason...YOU do!
I'll be honest; at times I feel like an old man trying to have the best looking yard on the block. Unfortunately, most growers rarely the opportunity to “sneak a peek” at a fellow growers "yard." Instead, we're forced to rely on their prideful claims that resemble big-fish stories and photographs from preferred angles on cell phones. I'm not calling anyone out, except myself, because yes, I'm guilty of these same behaviors. These plants become our “kids,” so we like to brag them up and indirectly brag about our own "parenting skills". Although you and I hate to admit it we are thinking to ourselves, "what's he putting in his compost tea", or "how the hell do you get your roots to look like that?!" The jealously factor in this community will probably never go away.
At the same time, this is a community of people that know growing is not easy, it is a continuous challenge. You just don't throw a couple of seeds in the ground and walk away. This is very active and interactive type of gardening, taking several hours per week to get the results you want. With that, most of the time trading these raves and embellishments leads to constructive tips and tricks, information, and cross-information within the growing community.
In this community, we realize the chase of creating the modern "Garden of Eden" is a never-ending pursuit just like a "hole in one." It's definitely not just about the finished product, it’s just as much about the trials and challenges of the journey. Issues with pests, temperature control, watering cycles, light optimization, nutrient deficiencies, additives, and the list goes on and on. We visualize our idea of the perfect plant but to our dismay, it continues to prove as elusive as a certain Great White Whale…