Sunday, June 24, 2012

Why I Garden

This summer is the third year that I've planted a vegetable garden in our back yard and each time I learn something new.  You might think, "Well of course he has a garden, he's a dietitian." I originally planted my garden for almost that exact reason but also because:  
  • I wanted my twins to know where fruits and vegetables come from. 
  • I wanted to have more control over my food and where it comes from so a garden seemed like a great way to accomplish that.
  • I wanted to see if I could actually get anything to grow!
Now, I must confess that I am a very low maintenance gardner.  I water, I weed, and I harvest and probably not as often as I should.  I basically have a Ron Popeil attitude: I set it and forget it.  I would not say I have a green thumb, it's more yellowish and probably from over or under watering, I don't know which.

As the years go on, though, my garden has become more than I expected.  It all started a few days ago,  my daughter said something to me that really made me think.  She's 4 1/2 and when we were outside watering together she said, "Dad we have to share the food we grow, right?  That's what we are supposed to do with our garden."  She probably said this because she noticed that if we have something ripe to harvest, and we are going over to a friend's house, we bring whatever we pick as a gift. 

After thinking about what my daughter said for a couple of days I realized that yes, part of the fun of having a garden is that I get to share my harvest with friends.  

My garden is not just about what I do to the dirt and to the plants, it's about what the dirt and plants do to me.  If I spend 5 minutes outside in my garden, I notice I am more relaxed.  I am so proud when I see a small piece of fruit or vegetable start to form.  I feel accomplished.  I also get great joy from watching my kids look for worms, pick ready-to-eat vegetables, and help choose what to plant each year.  Although my yield each harvest is relatively small, nothing tastes as good as a vegetable that you grew in your own yard. 

My garden helps connect me to my food which is another exercise in Intuitive Eating.  I want to savor each bite of cucumber, corn, tomato or pepper that comes from my own work. 

To really understand what a garden can do for you, watch the YouTube video below from a recent Ted Talk. 

 


So how is my garden doing this year?  Here are some pictures so you see how things are going.  And I will add more photos as things continue to grow.  As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts.

Starters I purchased for planting.  Total cost ~$25

Two raised 4x4 beds divided into 1x1 squares ready for planting
Plants organized in their 1x1 plot

Planted and ready to grow!

Our first jalepenos 

This kids chose to plant "burpless" cucumbers!

Look how things have grown so far
Summer squash flowering after just a few weeks.



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