Why do we garden?

“Of the seven deadly sins, surely it is pride that most afflicts the gardener.”

― Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education

the salad I speak of

Why do I have a garden? I started thinking about that very question as I enthusiastically told a coworker what was in my bowl: Red Russian Kale, Louisiana Pink Tomatoes, Cosmic Purple Carrots, roasted Detroit Dark Red beets, etc. Do people often get this excited about salad? Why was I so overjoyed?

I think there’s something extremely gratifying about seeing something go from seed to plate. It’s more fun than farm to table. It’s labor. It’s nurture. It’s my urban garden.

It’s a lot of work. My back gets sore, my legs ache, and I always have dirt under my nails. Wearing gloves just doesn’t cut it. I like to feel what I’m doing because, well, gardening is intimate. It’s a kinesthetic art just as much as it’s visual. I love it so much that I’m always posting photos of my little backyard farm. As I look back through my Instagram feed, I see just how proud I am. Sometimes, I even take selfies with veggies (don’t judge).

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crazy kohlrabi

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so much kale

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heirloom tomatoes after the rain

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cosmically awesome

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my first spinach leaves

But is it cheaper to grow your own? Some people think that we save a lot of money by growing our own veggies. It’s quite the contrary, actually. I’m sure I spend more. The veggies cost nearly nothing to raise from seed, but it’s the soil, the water (our rain barrel never has enough), the organic amendments, and the time. Oh my gosh, if time really were money…

In the end of the day, it’s amazing to say “this was a seed and now it’s in my tummy.” I love to share with my neighbors and friends, and I really love to talk to other gardeners. There really is a sense of pride, joy, and commitment to playing in the dirt. It’s a way of life, and I wouldn’t trade my shovel and dirty fingernails for anything.

Until next time, my gardening friends. It’s Spring! Go get dirty.

my happy place

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15 thoughts on “Why do we garden?

  1. Jenna

    Oh my gosh your salad and veggies look so amazing! I always want to have my own garden and I like you love to be able to eat something I have grown. Not to mention the flavor of growing your own tomatoes is like no other tomatoe you can buy anywhere. You inspire me!

  2. Inspiring words and pictures. I think so much of what makes gardening worthwhile is immeasurable, at least in the financial sense.

    I’ve joined the Kale Krowd this year with seeds of two varieties already started down in the basement!

  3. Pingback: Why do we garden? | Delicious Daydreams | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  4. I don’t know about pride, it might also be greed… I seem to want all of the heirlooms, all of the seeds 🙂 Happy gardening season!

  5. You go, girl. I had my first homegrown radishes, garlic and snowpeas this year – am waiting on the fennel, it looks promising. Oh, and the garlic was good and there is one still out there.

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