Monday, March 23, 2009

Catch the gardening wave!

He asked, "What are you doing these days?"
I answered: "I am growing vegetables and flowers"
He said, "I buy my vegetables at the grocery store and my flowers at the flower shop"
I thought, "He doesn't get it"

I read more and more about how people are tuning in to gardening these days. It's like we sense something.
Is it the ailing economy? We've been through bad economic times before, but I don't remember reading that gardening as an activity took off then.
Is it the end of the world in 2012? Are we sensing that soon we will have to survive without the modern infrastructure of roads and supermarkets?
Are we all just getting older? I read tons of blogs by young people who garden.

What is it?

Speaking as a relatively new gardener, I can say this: It is not to save money. If you are new to gardening, you won't really save money on produce. Not at first. At first, you get taken by all the beautiful and glossy gardening catalogs and you buy. You buy everything that may make you into a better gardener. This in spite of all the wonderful web sites and blogs out there telling you how to grow plants on the cheap:
and many, many more.

Also, for a good, entertaining story about how quickly and surreptitiously your costs can get out of control, read the book by William Alexander, The 64 dollar tomato .
Eventually, once you get your gardening legs, you will begin to incorporate the money saving techniques you've read and heard about, but at first, you will pay.

So if saving money is not it, then what? Well, for one, taste.
It is no secret that farmers today grow food that can be shipped thousands of miles away and last a long time in storage. Tomatoes and strawberries get picked green, long before they develop their deliciousness. Tomatoes, at least, are bred to withstand a beating during shipment and taste is not the number one factor during their cultivation. You are more likely to grow delicious produce in your yard, especially if you grow heirlooms.

Nutrition. It is now known that the vegetables and fruits grown by giant farm monstrosities like Monsanto and others, contain much less nutrition than produce from the past. Agribusiness is just that, a business and their concern is making money, not nutritious food. The reasons as to why food is less nutritious today are related to their growing methods. The produce from your yard will be more nutritious, especially if you practice natural, organic gardening.

Health. By growing your own food, you know what's in it. No more salmonella or pesticides in your food, as long as you use organic methods. Period.

Exercise and the joy of doing SOMETHING. Get off the couch and turn the t.v. off. Go fight aphids. Go make compost (I am told is addictive). Then go and show off the beautiful stuff you've grown.

Nothing in this post is original. I am simply saying that after 6 years of growing plants, I can attest to the truth of what it's been said about gardening.

Grow and Tell!


  1. Well, I can honestly say that I started gardening to grow food- in fact I'm actually better at growing food than garden design! But then I started growing everything! You are right, you don't save money at first and you're lucky if you ever really do- if you can keep yourself from buying gadgets, etc. then you have a better chance! I myself am growing more food this year and it really boils down to one reason- what in the heck are they putting in my food? Health. It's a pay me now, pay me later kinda game. Now that I'm in my 40's I just want better quality food! How can they even call those anemic, water filled, tasteless things in the store- tomatoes? Another reason I garden? I love it- I'm a tweak, always trying to find better methods, learning about my living soil. I try to talk to people about gardening and most of the time I lose them!

    I hope your spring is wonderful- and here's to a great bounty!

  2. Amen!
    You have a great garden.
    I eyed your greenhouse with envy.
    I'll build mine this year, I hope.