Ask anyone why they garden, and you’ll probably get an answer which ultimately gives some sense of satisfaction to the gardener.
Whether it’s for the fresher more intense flavor or just a hobby, your answer to this question reveals your unique story. When I think of gardening my thoughts drift back to my six-year-old self helping Maime, my grandmother, in her gardens. Yes, that’s plural G-A-R-D-E-N-S! She had four (4) gardens going every summer. My sister and I, along with our cousins, stayed with Maime every summer. She made aprons for us. I loved sitting under the shade tree shelling purple hull peas into my apron. My reward, other than her yummy cooking, was my purple fingers at the end of the day. I don’t garden using her methods, but I can still remember her stocked cabinet of canned food and a large, stocked freezer. I think she enjoyed gardening, but the result of food security was probably the winning reason behind her gardening. She lived through the Great Depression and that alone was motivation to have as much food on hand as possible. Maybe your experience with gardening doesn’t take you back to your childhood and that’s okay.
Sometimes gardening is therapeutic. Every day, getting your hands dirty helps you unwind from the day.
Perhaps, gardening is your family time. Growing your groceries together in a team effort! The Point: Everyone Has a Purpose to Their Gardening, the deeper reason of why.
Though a common task for centuries, gardening is a rewarding venture. It can cut your grocery budget, fill your pantry for months (perhaps years) and bring neighbors together. Let’s look at some of the ways gardening is empowering:
- Bartering your homegrown food with friends/neighbors
- Self Sufficiency – being able to produce more of your family’s needs.
- Less Carbon Footprint – gather food a few yards from your house instead of the typical 1200-mile trip it takes for food to get from farm to table.
- Extra Income – sell extras of what you grow creating a side job or go all out and do it full time.
- Create Community – invite friends/neighbors over to help in exchange for produce. There are good times to be had in the garden.
- Organic gardening makes eating healthy achievable for us budget sensitive folks.
- Save your seeds each year to increase your food security!
- Gardening is just fun! My nine-year-old says, “If it aint fun, don’t do it.”
- My twelve-year-old says, “I get a free buffet whenever I want.”
Finally, serving others through gardening. We probably all know someone who can be blessed (helped) through our gardening efforts.
The truth is we all are helped by serving. Gardening is an amazing outlet to show someone the love of Christ. Whether it be someone needing food, or some elderly person who can’t maintain a garden on their own anymore. The joy that can come through this tool called gardening can transform lives. Before you think I’m too crazy, let me explain how gardening can be an act of serving others.
Donating to your local food bank touches so many lives. Take some extras to share at a group meeting. Hunger has many faces.
Shaun wants to serve others, and ultimately God, through gardening. A little info about the county we live in, it has a population of 31,197 with 13.4% living below poverty level. That’s 4,056 individuals! The idea is to use permaculture to create public gardens which will assist anyone needing food. A huge relief to those hungry. Maybe a neighbor or someone we’ve never met whose life can be changed through this act of gardening. Powerful stuff!
Here’s the biggie, whenever we help take care of others it’s like we’re taking care of Jesus. (see Matthew 25:31-40) How about you? What are some ways you can use this powerful tool of gardening to serve? The possibilities are endless!
If your new to gardening, I’ve provided several links to resources I find helpful.