Now, I’m not talking about plants “taking over the world” like, they go all Little-Shop-of-Horrors on our asses, demanding to be fed human blood. Instead, I’ll be keeping things on par with the soft, velvety moss growing in your driveway.
Plants are contributing to the way we live in more ways than one, whether you’re aware of it or not. That little fern-thing on your desk or overgrown lavender bush out the front of your house have huge benefits that go well beyond just a bit of green in the corner of your office, or the calming scent in your aromatherapy candle…
For some, plants have become family, your “babies” – that don’t cry or spew on you! For others, they are a deliciously tasty accompaniment to (or main source of) your diet that taste okay microwaved, better stir-fried and SUPERB roasted. The booze you enjoy? If you’re like me, hops and grapevines are like long-time friends…that hurt your feelings sometimes.
For you, maybe those textured pots of green are your kind and understanding therapist that don’t talk back or cost a fortune? Or perhaps plants are the biggest expenditure on those weekend trips to Bunnings – what’s another indoor plant to add to your existing 30 at home?
Either way, it’s important we look at the bigger picture here; if we didn’t have plants, we – and the animals and species we coexist with in this world – wouldn’t be alive.
Our awareness of plants is growing and we should all take a beet to appreciate the many benefits they have towards our lives and survival – human or not. The other night I watched an episode of Zac Efron’s Down to Earth and no, not just for his dreamy blue eyes but to get educated and learn some sh*t. This particular episode told the story of Punta Mona, an incredible, sustainable eco-village in Costa Rica. You’ll find every sort of plant there – medicinal plants, veggies, tropical fruits, root crops and more. The small community in Punta Mona live completely off the land and everything about it is sustainable and makes sense. I was quite curious (and envious) to see this community live so comfortably amongst nature and utilise each and every plant that they grew on their expansive land. Want some refreshing jackfruit for a snack? Grab your machete! Want some coconut to garnish your fruit salad? Grind your own!
The good news is that you don’t have to travel to exotic destinations to understand how plants contribute to your fruit salad. It runs deep in those simple experiences that you can very easily create in your own backyard. My partner and I think of ourselves as beginner ‘green thumbs’ (although, from the state of our own backyard you might disagree). Nevertheless, we’ve sought expert advice on how to develop an outdoor space that is locally sourced, allows for growing our own vegetables and herbs, showcases beautiful natives and attracts wildlife and insects. We also want our son to have a little nature-play area which challenges and teaches him about our environment, how to respect it and importantly, be grateful for it. We hope this will eventually help him learn to love his spinach (yeah right) and firm up the ‘garden to plate’ concept.
The massive plant ecosystem really is an eye-opener to what’s beyond your fiddle fig and how you could make simple changes that not only improve your lifestyle but help our world and Mother Earth. Just by planting a cutting, watching more of Zac Efron, eating more plants instead of meat, growing those Woolworths veggie seeds or digging a hole for a native tree, it all makes a positive and long-lasting difference to you and the world that we live upon. It’s that easy!
In essence, plants won’t take over the world but they definitely make the world go round…