The time is coming… and I am oh so excited! No doubt that my husband thinks I am super weird (and slightly annoying) but I am so ready to plant our garden! I have always been a fan of fresh, local foods, but last year we took it to another level when we grew our own in the backyard! We treated last year as a trial, meaning we grew a little bit of everthing. Actually, we treated it as a trial in thinking “we will just plant this stuff and see if anything even grows.” For weeks, I went out and checked on it every day and the day we finally saw our first strawberry bloom was so amazing!
After that day, Jess got on board with the garden too. He got excited about it.. and better yet, he tried some vegetables that he otherwise would NOT have tried had they not been growing in our own back yard.
Gardening wasn’t much I thought about prior to last year. Really because I was scared and didn’t think I could do it right. But then with my work at The Partnership, we began helping some local schools purchase items and grow school gardens. With help from co-workers and the internet, I began to learn little by little about gardening and decided that I may as well try.
My main purpose for wanting a garden was so that I could know exactly where my food is coming from. As a nutrition professional, I have learned far too much about food production and preservation. To an extent this is a good thing, but it can also be burdensome. I sometimes freak out about the safety of food far past what a normal human being would. I am super picky about restaurants, brands and grocery stores because I am always after fresh and safe products to put into mine and my family’s bodies. So, how better to do that then just grow them yourself? (Jess is probably reading this right now predicting that in a few years I will insist on buying our own cows for milk and raising our own chickens for meat etc. etc. … and he might be right.)
Anyways, as we continued our work in the garden I began to love it not just for what it produced. It was such a stress release to go outside and search for my ripe grape tomatoes, or even just pull weeds. It brought up so many memories of my childhood when my grandmother and parents had a garden. It made me feel like I was still living in the ‘good ole days’ where my life wasn’t always on a time clock and technology wasn’t taking over my every moment. A garden slowed me down and allowed me to appreciate the earth and what God has so readily provided for us. Food. Good, healthy food grown from the same soil I reside on.
Now, I know for some I just got a little deep. So let me be sure to point out some other typical benefits of a garden.
Health Benefits. Due to the shorter time between harvest and your table, locally grown produce can provide you with more nutrients than those that you would purchase at the grocery store.
Flavor. If you have ever had a tomato grown from a garden and compared it to the ones in the bins at Walmart, you know what I’m talking about…There is no comparison!! That goes with every fruit/vegetable that is garden grown!
It’s fun. If you have kids (or a picky husband like myself) a garden can only improve their intake of fruits and vegetables. Even for us as adults it was so much fun to watch the foods grow until ripe and then try to come up with different ways to eat them.
It’s safe. You know exactly what products you used to enrich the soil or keep the bugs away and you know where you got your seeds or starter plants. You know every single thing about what you are growing… because you are the grower! Therefore, there are no questions about what you might be putting into your body!
Money saver. Self explanatory. I cannot tell you how much money Jess and I saved on vegetables last summer. Grow what you typically buy or wish you could buy more often if it wasn’t so expensive!
Gardening really is fun and easy! Jess and I plan to start on our garden this weekend if the weather acts right. Let me know if you start one too!