Grow a Folk Community in Your Back Yard


frontyardgardenSpring time is here, and that means it’s time to start your garden.  Unless, of course, your lease, HOA agreement, city or state laws forbid you from doing so.

If you don’t know how to manage a backyard garden, or a bucket garden, you should really learn how.  It costs much less than you might expect.  The only times that this isn’t true is when your apartment complex manager, Home Owners Association managers, city council, or state legislators decide that you can’t be trusted to water a tomato plant.

We all know what tyranny and oppression looks like and feels like, and the last place we should be expected to tolerate it is on our own property.

A vegetable and fruit garden in your front or back yard (or perhaps both…) is a noble work and is a respectable end in and of itself, but you need to be doing something with it.

Before you do anything else you need to know what a home garden is capable of, and what you can expect from it.

If you are expecting that your home garden is going to make you self sufficient and take you “off the grid”, then you’re not going to like my opinion.  If you have to depend on your own garden for all of your nutrition, then you’re probably going to die of starvation.  The fact of the matter is that very few of us have adequate space, ideal growing conditions, or the time to support a gardening operating capable of self sustainment.

For those few who do have the luxury of growing in such abundance, I tip my hat to you.  Meanwhile, the rest of us have to deal with apartment complex lease agreements, over zealous Home Owners Associations (HOAs), tyrannical city councils, and oppressive state legislation.

There are ways to work around the restrictions in most cases, but we shouldn’t have to.  Growing a food plot is a natural and God given right and is not negotiable.  We do not need permission from anybody to grow food, it is our right as people and it will not be sacrificed to the demands of bourgeois city councilors and state legislators, and least of all to the petty bourgeois governance and regulation of an HOA manager.

If you live in a nice home inside the city, a one bedroom apartment with a balcony or patio, or in a rented room somewhere then your options for gardening are going to be very limited.  The only people who have an ideal growing season are going to be in the South, and that means that the rest of us have less than five good months of growing season.  If any of these conditions apply to you, then you’re not going to be able to feed yourself with your own garden.  It’s not going to happen.  The best that you can hope under those conditions is to can or dry your produce and herbs for use at a later time.

If you’re a home garden enthusiast, you’re not going to get off the grid.  A home garden will not grant you self sufficiency.

A garden is not something that you should be using to gain self sufficiency and the ability to live independently of anyone else, and this is not what we should be using it for.  Gardens are about independence and freedom, but if you are using a garden as a means to escape from society then you’ve got it all wrong.

Gardens and gardening are about developing relationships with your friends, family, folk, and Church communities.  It is impossible to survive on a garden if it could grow only what we need as individuals.  Gardening is about growing relations within our communities and supporting those in need.  We must not live for only ourselves and our own selfish interests, and if I catch you trying to do that with your own garden then I’m going to find where you live and spray Agent Orange all over your garden plot.  No, I wouldn’t actually do that, but you would be completely missing the point of what it means to be a gardener and a grower if you’re thinking only of yourself.

America has no shortage of food, and if all you want is for something to eat then you can go shopping at Kroger’s, Walmart, Marsh, or anywhere else.  On second thought, don’t go to Walmart.  Their produce is just not very good.  The only thing that America lacks is a sense of community and identity, and that’s where gardening and growing comes.

Gardening and growing is a lifestyle and community service.  Garden and plant as much as you can reasonably take care of, and help your friends and neighbors do the same.  Grow the food even if you don’t care to eat it yourself.  Donate the food to your Church, a local food pantry, or share it with your friends and neighbors.

The Traditionalist Youth Network supports the growth of folkish communities, and one part of achieving that goal is by teaching ourselves and each other how to garden, and how to exercise a spirit of generosity, stewardship, and goodwill in our communities.  The Forces of World Subversion are many, and they are ever at work to subvert our faith, folk, and family.  Strike back against the Forces of World Subversion by rejecting restrictions against suburban gardening in your community.  Those restrictions are not just an infringement of our God given rights, but are also an attack against our most fundamental tools for developing a folkish community.

In the end, gardening isn’t about food– it’s about independence and freedom from tyranny.  Plant a garden, and help your community grow.

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Grow a Folk Community in Your Back Yard by Thomas Buhls is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


  • Rob

    Great post, Thomas. I’m definitely doing a big old garden this year.

    • Thanks, Rob! What are you growing?

      I have about a dozen sweet pepper plants, and four bigboy tomato plants this year, and I’ve got a few other things going, but it’s going to be a fun year!

  • Orthodox Mike

    How wonderful to see such a positive, Traditionalist post! These are the kind of things folks need to see and hear.. Agrarianism is part of the Soul of our People. We need more Folk-building ideas and less worrying all the time about the hostile out-groups ( though, of course, we must always be aware of what is going on).

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By: Thomas Buhls



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