Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Saturday, April 3, 2010


(Photo: My jam)
I recently wrote a guest blog for Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project at:
The author, the anonymous "Mrs. Q" is a teacher in Illinois who has vowed to eat a school lunch every school day and blog about it. I wrote about alternatives to school lunches and you can read my post there. But this brings me to the point of this post: why I garden.

I am sure you have all read impassioned writing about the value of real, whole food, so I won't try to emulate the better writers who have done so. One of the reasons I garden is for the pleasure I get from growing some of our own food (whatever floats your boat, right?). I love digging up potatoes, pulling carrots, picking tomatoes, cutting greens, and flowers, for the table. And I love to eat all of these vegetables and serve them to my family. I take pride in growing them organically. I enjoy the entire process, from ordering seeds to planting, growing and harvesting. I even enjoy canning and sure love to see those boxes of home-canned goods in my closet each year!

Gardening in the activity that brings me to the 'here and now', the Zen-like state of just experiencing what I am doing. I call my favorite style of gardening "puttering," where I just start with a task and see what other tasks it leads me to (and my "Western mind" is also satisfied by this, as I get a lot accomplished!) Five minutes of gardening brings me closer to a sense of peace than a half hour of meditation or relaxation.

So, the bottom line is I garden for pleasure and the reinforcing quality of it all. If I didn't find it pleasurable, I might not be doing it- though I do believe you can decide to take on a new project, hobby or endeavor and grow into loving it, though there probably does need to be some attraction to it in the first place (or someone who inspires you: ever hear that old saying, about surrounding yourself with people who motivate and inspire you to become what you want to be?). Other reasons to garden include health, increasing exercise and flexibility, growing the food I want, connecting with life and learning a skill.

I have a houseful of guests on this Easter Sunday and some good cooking to do. On the Easter menu from the garden will be a salad of mixed greens and asparagus quiche. Happy Easter...and Happy Gardening!

1 comment:

Anita said...

Whoa! I just finished scanning some of the comments on your guest post - You and Mrs. Q. are getting people really stirred up - which is a GOOD thing!
My family is eating more fruits and veggies than a few years ago. I hope we can continue to experience different recipes and combinations and grow to crave it! Actually, two (possibly three) of us are already on board. Gotta convince the other two. :)