I came across a t-shirt the other day that read, “I love gardening from my head tomatoes,” and I laughed. It’s funny because it’s true. I love every aspect of gardening. I’ve never stopped to analyze the whys of it until that t-shirt. Gardening, according to Wikipedia, is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture. That may be true but for me, gardening is so much more.
It’s in the genes! In many ways its as much a part of me as my German roots and my blue eyes. My great-grandparents came to this country to work the ground. My great-grandpa so loved the land that as each of his offspring married he gave them eighty acres of land to build their life from. Although my parents did not inherit the farming gene raising their family in the city I was always drawn to nurturing the land. That obsession would evidently lead me back to the farm.
It’s cheap therapy! If I have a problem that I am trying to work out I start pulling weeds and before long I have worked out a solution. If I’m angry I grab the hoe and take out my frustration on the milkweeds and thistle that think they can take me on. If I’m sad I only have to stop and smell the roses, literally, and I cannot help but smile.
It gets me outdoors! Where I can avoid the phone, take a break from my computer, work on my gorgeous tan, albeit a farmer’s tan, and ignore boring housework for a few hours. And I get to do this all while being serenaded by songbirds.
It’s a small part of something bigger! It is true I plant and water the seeds but I am only a small part of the work that goes into the growth of the plants. And that still amazes and humbles me. Like looking out at the ocean and realizing you really are pretty small so don’t take yourself too seriously.
It’s a family! Honestly, I haven’t met a gardener I haven’t liked. There’s something about working the ground that keeps us grounded. Sure we can get a little compulsive about composting, deadheading, and germination. But at the end of the day, we share the simple joy and satisfaction of caring for our little piece of the world.
It’s all about the food! But mainly I sow so I can reap fresh organic fruits and vegetables that are both healthy and good for my family. There is nothing better than walking outside and gathering all the ingredients for dinner in your own backyard.– Ella