7 Reasons to Start a Garden!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Well, if it ever warms up, we'll be in the swing of things for garden season! People keep asking what we're planting this year, and I think it might be better for me to tell them what we *aren't* planting... We aren't planting: sweet potatoes, turnips, or kohlrabi. There are probably other things too, but not many!

I find gardening really fulfilling, and I think it's something anyone can do, even if you think you have a black thumb. Here are 7 reasons why:



--1--

It'll teach delayed gratification.



It takes a long time for food to go from seed to table. So many of us are completely divorced from the process of raising our food all the way from the beginning, and it's really eye-opening to see that you need to start planning in February to eat a tomato in August!

--2--

It'll give you a greater appreciation for farmers.



Sure, if the squash bugs kill your zucchini plants, you can head to the store and buy some. But somebody else had to raise those zucchini, and their livelihood depends on that produce making it to the store unharmed! If your garden's a total flop even after you put a ton of work into it, you'll absolutely be more grateful that there are people all over the place who can grow food without killing it, and that food is feeding you! And if your garden is a raging success, to the point where you're dropping bags of tomatoes on your neighbors' doorsteps, you'll feel a kinship with those professional farmers who might end up with tons of extra tomatoes that they probably shouldn't be dropping on anyone's doorsteps...

--3--

You'll be more in touch with the seasons.




Spring is great because the weather finally warms up, but spring is also great because strawberries are coming! And asparagus! Especially with fruit, we try to stick with things that are local and in season, because they just taste so. much. better. A warm strawberry straight off your strawberry plant is more delicious than anything else you've ever tasted; grocery store strawberries are a shadow of the glorious fresh strawberry you can grow in your garden. By the time you're sick of them, it's time to move on to blueberries, peaches, apples, and then you're so tired from canning/freezing/saucing all this abundance that you'll be yearning for the first frost so you can finally REST and eat all the delicious things you've grown.

--4--

Eden will seem even more attractive.



I bet Adam and Eve didn't have to deal with powdery mildew on their pumpkin leaves. Their apple trees certainly didn't succumb to any fungus. Harlequin beetles absolutely didn't flock to their kale, leaving it studded with orange-and-black bugs. The tomatoes never cracked after an onslaught of moisture from a summer thunderstorm. ALL OUR PRODUCE WOULD BE PERFECT if it hadn't been for The Fall!!!

--5--

Dirt is good for you.



No really! There are all sorts of scientific studies that talk about the microorganisms and whatnot... It's good for your mental health to be out there digging in the dirt, it's good for you to be out in the sun (within reason),

--6--

You can save money.


Note that I say you can save money gardening. You can also spend a ridiculous amount of money. But let's say you started small, just a few pots of perennial herbs and a few flower seed packets from the Dollar Store. Those herbs will keep growing for years, and at maybe $4/pot, if you get TWO uses out of each herb plant, that'll cover the $2 you'd pay for a pack of fresh herbs at the grocery store. And you're bound to get a few decent bouquets out of any flowers you plant, plus you can save flower seeds for the following year. Cheap! Easy! Rewarding!

--7--

Family bonding!


Once it warms up, every Saturday we're outside as a family all. day. long. Planting, weeding, digging, eating... We don't do sports, because Saturday games would totally mess with our Saturday gardening. And everybody loves pitching in and working together! Nothing beats watching your 5-year-old forage a bag full of edible weeds to eat as a snack during the week.


What do you think? Do you have better reasons? Are you going to give it a try? You can always start small! It even tastes better when you grow it yourself!



Awesome books about gardening (affiliate links below):

For Children:

How Does My Garden Grow (seriously this one is SO lovely! We got it from the library and I promptly bought it, it's that good)

The Gardener (makes me cry every time)

Plant Secrets (cute, simple, and informative)

For Adults:

The Backyard Homestead (practical advice for beginners)

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (a fun, well-written read that will motivate you!)

Carrots Love Tomatoes (companion planting in a nutshell)

Linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes!

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