Why We Garden

By P.C. Zick@PCZick

“We grow most of our own vegetables and then can or freeze what we can’t eat,” I told a friend recently.

“Why would you do that when you can just go to the grocery store and buy it?” she asked.

I had no idea how to respond. I’ve been thinking about it and this morning when we were in the yard weeding, watering and generally enjoying being outside on a lovely spring day, I took some pictures to try and capture why we love gardening so much. I guess the simple answer is the beauty in it. But of course that’s only one small part. But it’s a start.

I admit gardening is not for everyone. I would say we are mid-level gardeners. Some do less than us and others do much, much more. My nephew, newly single, plants a couple of tomato plants in containers on his deck. I applaud his efforts. He does it because of the wonder of growing something that simply tastes so heavenly. I have a friend who grows a garden on more than an acre of land. He spends his life in the warm weather months there, which is equally fine. And then some grow only flowers. Beauty has a place in all our lives.

If you’ve never smelled freshly tilled soil or rejoiced in the first blossoms on the peas or spied a deep orange poppy from the kitchen window or tasted vegetables minutes after coming from the garden, then perhaps you too would ask, “Why in the world would we ever want to garden?”

4 thoughts on “Why We Garden

  1. We lived in the city so flowers were the only gardening we did. My grandfather had the most wonderful marigolds every year. We had to drive to the country to buy the fresh veggies from the farmer’s stand.
    Some of my best childhood memories are of my grandmother and my mother in the kitchen canning tomatoes, chili sauce, tomato sauce and making their own bread and butter and dill pickles from my great grandmother’s recipes. The chatter, the smells and the laughter coming from the tiny kitchen made the apartment we lived in feel more like the family homestead.
    We could have bought all those foods from the local grocery store. I’m so grateful that we didn’t.
    Thanks Pat, for bringing back some great memories.

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  2. I think you have done a splendid job at capturing “why we garden”. I know I’ve struggled to reason it out before now. I’ve pretty much always gardened, but I started my first attempts at growing veggies with tomatoes, just like your nephew, I would sit on my steps on a summer’s evening and pick fresh cherry tomatoes off the plant and eat them there and then. I think that memory (I had just bought my first flat) still holds true now – the taste and the wonder!

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    • Thank you! I have to say my efforts were very small until I I married my husband. He is a master gardener, and it is a thing of wonder to watch him take seeds and make food. We’re overwhelmed right now with the effort, but are already reaping the rewards with spinach.

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