Saturday, January 9, 2010

Why Garden?

Lately I have been wondering about what drives me to garden. There is no single coherent reason for me to garden. What makes me think about it is that for so many there is a specific reason they garden. As I think about my own motivations I decided that I would make a list of all the reasons to garden that I could think of.

Environmental - Reduce food miles, fewer pesticides, fewer petroleum fertilizers, learn organic methods, not wasting land and resources on lawn, a long list of reasons.

Religious - There are often religious reasons to garden. Christians can dedicate their garden to biblical principle/references. Need to grow those special hard to come by herbs and plants for that Wicca ceremony? The Mormon church has a requirement that you be prepared in the event of emergency which many interpret to include growing your own food if necessary.

Preperation - A number of people feel that there is a coming period of lawlessness or a period where all the food and resource distribution systems are going to fall apart. They want to be ready. They are often called (by themselves) Preppers.

Food - You can't buy it that tasty, you can't buy it that nutritious. You will never know more about the food you eat than if you grow it yourself. You can grow what you want to eat. You can grow things that you can't purchase.

Education - Kids, this is where your food comes from, this is how you grow it. This is what it takes. This is soil. No. Soil is NOT a structural medium, it is a living breathing thing that you share this planet with. No. Eating a little will not kill you.

Economy - You cannot get better food more economically. If you are careful and pay attention, and get a little practice. I am not saying its easy. I am saying its achievable. I have occasion to travel through the south side of Chicago sometimes, and when I see the food desert peppered with vacant lots where great gardens could grow, it breaks my heart. Fortunately, others are tougher, and they are doing something about it.

Culture/Tradition - Raise food you can't purchase in your local area that is important to your culture or family tradition.

Activity/Exercise - What better way to have some regular activity outdoors, especially if you aren't able to exercise vigorously at a gym. Walk, garden, be well.

Relaxation/Therapy - I, and a lot of others, find gardening relaxing. One of the most unfortunate things about gardening is that I find it impossible to garden with a cell phone. Wow. Tragic. For many, gardening is physical or another type of therapy.

Habit - Some people garden out of habit. I have a neighbor like this. One of my goals this year - shake it up a little for him. :)

Necessity - Some people garden because they have to. At a point not so long ago, most of us did.

Beauty - Because a garden is so Ever Loving Beautiful!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Sensuality- Nothing smells like tomato plants as your hands move through them. Nothing feels the way warm dirt does as it filters through your fingers. Nothing looks more beautiful than the first blush of ripeness as it crosses the cheeks of your crops. And nothing sounds the way our grunting mmm's do as we anticipate and envelop that first taste of our 'still in the garden while eaten' harvest does.