Welcome to My Little Corner of the (New) World
Hello, my gardening friends! My name is Allyson. I am the second-youngest granddaughter of Mr. Bill, Spray-N-Grow’s own creative, caring, and, if I may say, rather clever founder. I am also a Millennial living in Waco, Texas, exploring what 21st century gardening and farming can mean as the Heart of Texas traverses a path of increasing urbanization. I am so thankful to Spray-N-Grow for this amazing opportunity to share my experiences with others as I grow into who I will be, both as a writer and as a gardener.
So many factors influence the course of society through the halls of history. Our collective journey is shaped by wars, famine, economic conditions, technological advances, and beyond. The victories, and the defeats, from humble beginnings to sometimes-turbulent dissolutions of the myriad demographic, geographic, and psychographic collections that comprise our world’s citizenry are profound; each event makes its own mark on the spirit of the age in which it occurs, and on those of all eras that follow. Each new generation is bound to see these events through a unique lens, if only because such moments share a genesis with humankind itself, and will continue to occur until homo sapiens sapiens survives no longer. The juxtaposition of the cosmic timeline and our endlessly varied individual lifetimes, therefore, has an unsurprising yet inspiring result; the universality of our humanity and the irreversibility of our history supply each generation with its own mixed bag of familiar-yet-unique challenges and opportunities.
Those of us born between the late 1970s and the early 1990s witnessed firsthand one the most spectacular periods of technological advancement since the inception of our species. Our generation’s earliest beginnings can be roughly marked from the moment that Steve Jobs stepped into the spotlight at the West Coast Computer Faire to introduce Steve Wozniak’s Apple II, which was Apple’s first consumer product and one of the first major commercial successes in the desktop home computer market. Even so, the eldest among us had only just reached 30 years of age when the same company released their first iteration of a tiny, touchscreen supercomputer that combined the functions of traditional telecommunication devices with constant, wireless access to the largest and most powerful computer network in the world, and yet still fit in a blue jean pocket. Within the same time period, it became clear that we were facing the reality of our global population surpassing ten billion within our lifetime, a population which is increasingly concentrated toward our urban centers. A population which, regardless of density, still has to eat.
It seems quite natural that this climate has our communities pursuing new technological and social innovations intended to provide fresh, high-quality food sources in increasing abundance within the limitations of our rapidly shrinking earth-area-per-human ration. In addition to the need to feed our growing numbers, we are becoming increasingly aware of a need to do so in socially responsible ways that are sustainable in the long-term. As the Western World’s current young professional adults, ‘Millennials’ appear to have seized the leading role in this computer-age agricultural revolution, starting with their own front yards, rooftops, and balconies, and even the tiniest window boxes or kitchen counters.
Having grown up in the Spray-N-Grow family, and additionally having grown into a love of preparing meals from superior ingredients, I leapt headfirst into this endeavor, an endeavor which happened to self-seed naturally into the Wacoan landscape, and has grown into one of the city’s vital life forces. Indeed, my garden has become a motivating factor in many of my life decisions post-university. It is my hope that through this garden journal, you and I will both make new discoveries in the ways we develop, approach, and execute our gardening goals.