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Why do we garden?

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Why do we garden?

Post  boffer on 12/30/2011, 1:33 pm

A quote in another thread got me to thinking..
David Hobson wrote:"I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow."
If all you want to do is grow vegetables, in the easiest and cheapest manner possible, then follow the SFG book precisely, because that's all it takes. But as the quote says, many of us garden for reasons other than putting veggies on the table. Frequently, these other reasons cause us extra work and money, but it is worth it because of the increased satisfaction and contentment created. I've been watching for traits and characteristics that are a regular part of personalities, that we transfer into our gardens.

The Nurturer:
As huggers and patters of little heads, how many on the forum call seedlings their babies and give them extra affection, to the point of taking them to bed with them...on their bedside tables.

The Food Pusher:
Never one to look at a person's size or health, the Food Pusher is always handing out plates of food; in the garden, it 'never hurts to add a little of this and a little of that' regardless of the plants' requirements.

The Arm Chair Traveler:
Content to satisfy dreams of worldwide travel by perusing catalogs as a hobby. In the garden, excited to try non-native plants and exotic plants as a way of bringing foreign exotica home.

The Secret Scientist:
In the kitchen, uses techniques learned in high school chemistry classes to measure out ingredients and log changes of recipes. In the garden, uses same precise measuring techniques, and keeps meticulous records of everything, that are seldom ever referred to again.

The Craftsman:
Gets involved in SFG gardening because of all the potential creative new projects that SFG has needs for. Not requirements; just opportunities. Getting veggies to the table is secondary.

Hopefully, you can add to the list...satisfying reasons for SFGing other than veggies.


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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  newstart on 12/31/2011, 8:18 pm

Mother and teacher: I want to show and teach my children where food comes from. If you ask them they say the store. Well that is true, But I want them to learn that its much more. Its planting, responsiblity, waiting for something to turn into food. That small ideas can change everything. A simple seed can feed a family. I hope this year to show them this

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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  camprn on 12/31/2011, 8:46 pm

Gardening is good for you because you may find treasure. Very Happy


41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau



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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  llama momma on 12/31/2011, 9:09 pm

Revisit Childlike Wonder - sitting next to a SFG box on my favorite padded step stool, and appreciate the miracle of plant growth is awesome. Seeing the changes on a daily basis. And I still get a kick out of sunflowers turning their faces toward the sun throughout the day. Very content planting, watering, harvesting, making compost, and especially replacing compost after harvesting. I repeatedly lose track of time outside. Sometimes have to use the cell phone alarm as a reminder to leave the garden. silly me
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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  walshevak on 1/1/2012, 1:31 am

My mom used to say she could tell when I had been out gardening. It showed up in my voice and my patience. And although she didn't garden herself, she loved the gardens I fixed for her like this herb garden from summer of 2007.

In Memory of My Mom Zeta T. Roberts 1922-2008



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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  Chopper on 1/1/2012, 4:06 am

The Do-It-Yourselfer: Feels secure and challenged by knowing that they can provide food for themselves without outside help (this type will also save seed to lessen dependence even more)

The Injured: Gardens to heal wounds and get in touch with the cycle of life and the thrill of raising something fruitful.


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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  Lavender Debs on 1/1/2012, 8:45 am

Never one to miss a chance to be introspective....

Heritage: Food production is my opportunity to remember who I am and where I come from. Some women and girls get this from doing dishes with mom and grandma. I got it from putting peas and carrots into the ground, from a crazy uncle who "talked silly to me" with a snapdragon blossom, from a mom who only bought trinkets to fill the christmas stockings but one spring let me bring home a plastic tray filled with tomato seed and vermiculite (punch holes in the lid, add water and get an instant tomato garden). She even gave me space in her flower garden to grow the seedlings.

I am a SFG'ner by happy accident. I think it is a very expensive way to garden, but I do love it. The overstuffed beds (boxes) become a place of beauty in July, melting into wild abundance in August. A living still life that satisfies my eyes as well as my mouth and belly. They provide the setting for hospitality and generosity. They start over the fence conversations with neighbors. They bring me a sense of community with people far away because they are so fun to blog about.

Debs.....who sees herself in most of the descriptions, but I see you too.
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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/1/2012, 11:03 am

The Re-Inventor.. This person reads a book, decides he can do it better, builds his own recipe, fails miserably, finds a forum, asks questions as a precursor to arguing about how his failed way is still better, gets warned, complains more about how rude people are, gets banned.

Don't be that guy.

The Easy-Peesy Lemon-Squeezy.. This person reads a book, follows it to the letter, finds all five composts diligently and without complaint, comes to the forum but finds his/her own answers, rarely, if ever, posts because he/she has so little to say because the method is so ridiculously simple to them they just don't see the point, lurks forever and we never get to meet this person.

Don't be this person, either.

The All-Star.. This person reads a book, comes to the forum for answers to questions requiring a bit more depth, genuinely gets along with others and wants to learn...possibly give a little back, falls in love with the method and without pushing starts teaching it to neighbors willing to listen, likely becomes a certified teacher eventually, constantly helps new people get started along the right track, and kicks back with beer, wine, or soda more often because he/she has discovered a way to garden that consumes far less time.

This person is my favorite.

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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  martha on 1/1/2012, 12:45 pm

I am very much enjoying the poetry in some of the posts in this thread.

Llama momma - I used to have "barn time" - now it's "garden time"!

I had a beautifully written, insightful and deep response to this thread and then my evil cat walked on my keyboard. He's proud!

As I'm sure is true for many of us, for me it is a conglomerate of many of the above characters.

The feel of the sun on my back, the connection to my maternal grandparents, who were those walk-on-water-could-do-no-wrong-and-boy-were-they-fun-to-visit type grandparents, the nurturing and caring of a living thing, the miracle of looking at such a tiny seed and knowing it is going to turn into a tomato plant, the anticipation, the eternal hope of creating beauty in my arrangements of which plants go where - that's just the surface.

Then there is the connection to the reality of food, as Newstart described (more poetically than I!)

This is a great thread - keep chiming in, please!

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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  quiltbea on 1/1/2012, 1:24 pm

My reason started very simply......I wanted to taste a really good tomato and not the bland, chemically sprayed, store-bought ones.

It was the best decision I made in a long time. Now I have 9 raised beds, 3 berms, a cold frame, a simple A-frame, 2 compost tumblers, a worm condo, 5 dwarf fruit trees, blueberry bushes, and I even lease a couple of rows in the local community garden to expand my food source and give to the Food Pantry....all since buying Mel's SFG book in the spring of 2009. Another big plus is it trims me down in the spring after a long winter of sitting around indoors quilting and gathering calories and I feel more alive even as I travel slowly 'over the hill.'

In the beginning.......

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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  boog1 on 1/1/2012, 2:46 pm

i mus be be a craftsman/d-i-yer/easy-peasy type i have 2 bookcases full of garden books. i like to read about gardening past and presant i bought one at a resale shop yesterday that surprizingly has storys about people builting raised beds for vearity of reasons. 30+ years ago. and to read about the trials and trubulations that folks went thru 30-40-50 years ago leaves one to wonder how they made it work. from all that reading i have made things i needed to garden ie: my tabletop boxs, from mel's book, trelases from things i had on hand w/o havin ta run off to menards spendin god knows what for matearals. i'll buy seeds there. if i need to like last year. but i have enough left to use this year. yup i come here and i post to help others and read posts to get ideas to improve my garden. the other half asked me once ,why do i garden ?? i said three words "BECAUSE I CAN" she jus thru her hands in the air an walked way. now if i can jus keep her out of the bargin bin at lowes Evil or Very Mad


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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  trukrebew on 1/1/2012, 11:02 pm

Like many of you, I can identify at least a little bit with all of these reasons and characteristics. But the first reason that came into my mind was:

For Humility. To control the growth that I can, to accept the growth that I cannot, and the wisdom to know that there's always next season!

Happy New Year to all!

May your year be filled with serenity with each sunrise that falls upon your SFG. (And for those of you in the PNW, I sincerely hope that happens every day!)


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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  martha on 1/1/2012, 11:13 pm

Hey, trukrebew - my in-laws live in Montclair! I was just there for Christmas!

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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  gwennifer on 1/2/2012, 1:50 am

Beautiful responses! Newstart hit the nail on the head for why I'm doing it. BBG, I enjoyed your descriptions of the types of gardeners that come 'round here. (I hope I can qualify as an All-Star!)

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Re: Why do we garden?

Post  Furbalsmom on 1/2/2012, 2:54 am

@trukrebew wrote:May your year be filled with serenity with each sunrise that falls upon your SFG. (And for those of you in the PNW, I sincerely hope that happens every day!)

Thank you, what a nice wish

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Re: Why do we garden?

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