Why do I garden? There are so many reasons to have a garden but in truth, mine are selfish. Mostly, I do it because I want to control my food. To eat only vegetables and fruits that are grown naturally and freshly picked is my goal and growing them myself accomplishes this. Having the desired varieties of produce at an affordable price is also part of the equation.
Ego, mainly my own, is also a factor. There is nothing more satisfying than taking a stroll out to the garden in my yard and filling a basket with vegetables I have grown. It takes setting goals to a new level. It can change your entire outlook on life. As a gardener you must be an optimist; you must believe that simply putting a seed into soil and watering it will result in a plant you can pick and eat.
You must also be able to see the beauty in what is merely a plant. To surround myself with beauty and to indulge in it and the sense of calm and serenity it bestows upon me. It is the act of feeding the soul along with the body and the ego that keeps me in the garden. Plants do not love or hate, they simply thrive or not. As gardeners, we do the loving; we provide the plant what it needs and then we eat it and the plant in turn gives us what we need to thrive.
Gardening has given me hope for my future; if I plant it, it may one day give me fruit. Personally, I am dreaming of peaches and figs.
To reach down into the soil and pull up fully formed vegetables that I can roast or pickle is just part of why I garden. To have enough to share with friends and neighbors is another reason and I always plant more than I need.
With the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “to forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves,” I continue gardening so that I do not forget that “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow,” Audrey Hepburn. And those are just some of the reasons why I garden.