Memory and Gardening from Books

When I suffer from a lapse in memory, I usually say, “Nevermind, I’ll look it up.” My answer to any question that I am not sure of has become, “Just google it!” When did “to google” become a verb?

I believe my dependent relationship on google as encyclopedia/dictionary is crippling my memory.  I was told this morning by my erudite other half that Plato once wrote, should men learn writing, “they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks.” Plato has a point.

So what would happen if the internet was disabled and our crops were destroyed from war or disease? Unfortunately, printed books are on their way out. In this fantasy/nightmare, the only people who would survive are those who know how to hunt and gather and grow their own food. That is, if our planet can withstand the destructive cycle of natural and man-made disasters.

My post-apocalyptic fears mostly come from those darn books and the news (I’d like to thank Margaret Atwood, Suzanne Collins and NPR,) and my own weirdo imagination. Nonetheless, they have all inspired me to reclaim knowledge and skills that used to be passed down from generation to generation and learned by all, not just those who grew up on a farm.

Since my first step to learning anything these days is using google, and since that didn’t pan out as well as I would have liked in the container gardening area, and since I don’t have a family member around to show me how it’s done, I went for my other source: the public library. In rapid fire succession, I reserved 5, 10, I don’t know how many books on vegetable gardening, herb gardening, container gardening, incredible vegetables, grow your own kitchen garden, self-watering containers, and a book titled, “You Grow Girl” or something equally embarrassing yet oddly appealing to my gender and generation.

I find myself feeling very literary about this somewhat mundane project. As I read these gardening books will I find myself reading as from a manual to be referenced or, by reading and participating in the process, will I commit the knowledge and skills to memory to be passed down to my future family?