As I’m sitting here typing away, I have the classic album by Fugazi, 13 Songs pumping out of the speakers like a rabid dog assaulting my ears. For most gardeners, and more than likely, for most readers, this type of music could be considered vile, but for me, it’s absolute bliss. Also, for myself, it represents everything that I love about gardening.
I know what you’re thinking. How the hell could such a crass and angry thing such as punk ever be compared to something as sophisticated as gardening? Well, I do see your point, and I do see how if you’re growing flowers or hedges you’re going to be listening to Bach or maybe even some old ragtime jazz, but when you’re working on your vegetable garden, there really isn’t a better match.
I love punk music. I always have. I love the anger, the ‘eff you’ attitude, and most of all, I love the anti-establishment attitude. Maybe you missed that last part. I love the anti-establishment attitude of punk music. With that being said, I would have to say that of everything I love about gardening, that might be the one thing I love the most.
Most of the worlds population buys all their food from one of ten or so manufacturers. These are the big corporate manufacturers who could care less about you, your family, or your community. All they care about is the bottom-line profit. This is all well and good, as this is America. We were founded on capitalist principals and these are the same principals in which made our country so great. Sure, I could see that, but at the same time, these are the same principals in which made the quality of our products so poor. And people wonder why Hostess went bust.
Gardening is kind of a sophisticated way of telling corporate America to ‘eff themselves’. It’s going against the grain. When the world is stocking up on canned food they are buying from their local grocer, they’re doing nothing more than padding the hefty wallets of some rich, snobby CEO somewhere on Wall Street. If anything, that would be playing right along with the system. You’re dancing the same waltz that the uptight soccer mom in the minivan is dancing to. 1-2,1-2, that’s right, keep in step. Sorry folks, that’s not punk.
Growing your own food is punk. Getting your hands dirty, going against everything that the system is all about. You are independent and there is nothing that proves individuality quite like gardening. ‘Should I plant an eggplant there?’ Screw it! This is your garden. Plant some fucking okra if you want! You only have to follow your rules. Now, that is punk!
When you’re out there, you’re not making anyone rich. When you’re out there, you’re planting the seeds of a revolution! You read that right, a REVOLUTION! People like Jello Biafra and Ian MacKaye would be proud of your absolute disregard for the system that was put in place for you to follow.
So, if planting a victory garden is punk, then what is canning?