Field of Science

Reasons for gardening

A recent article provides 10 reasons for planting your own garden: preserving seed diversity, self sufficiency, thoughtful gifts, exercise, cut fossil fuel use, save time, lessons for kids, nutrition, harvesting, save money. The Phactor finds most of these completely unrealistic and even a bit naïve. Come on this is the best they could do? Who plants a garden to have thoughtful gifts? Giving away excess zucchini is hardly thoughtful. Maybe throwing an over-ripe tomato at your neighbors' barking dog might count as thoughtful , from a certain perspective. Makes you wonder if the author of this article gardens? Real gardeners aren’t motivated by such reasons, so here’s the Phactor’s 10 reasons for why you should have a garden.
Reality check – Gardens provide a means of keeping in touch with reality. You watch plants sprout, grow, prosper or dwindle, and die. Some things do well, others flop. That’s life in a microcosm.
Taste – Fresh from the garden fruits and veggies tastes so much better than the aged offerings in stores. Only farmer’s markets come close. I doubt there is actually any significant nutritional difference, but who cares.
Berries – Nothing is better than fresh berries, other than value added berries, like a berry pie, especially for breakfast. If you don’t understand this refer back to taste, and of course, marry someone who knows how to bake a pie.
Weather – Gardening puts you in touch with the weather more than any other activity, other than maybe sailing, but that’s hard to verify here in Lincolnland. Highs, lows, rainfall, storms all begin to matter in ways you never noticed before. If you don’t understand refer back to reality check.
Asparagus – Nothing says spring more than fresh
asparagus. Oh, this stuff is what it’s all about. Asparagus grows well along fences and borders, but plant it far enough inside your lot that your neighbor can’t reach it. Check the link to improve on something that doesn’t need improvement.
Snap peas – Yes, your kids may decide it’s fun to watch things grow (mine didn’t), and it may be a way to teach them to eat better, but I recommend not even giving kids the good stuff. They’re happy with McNuggets, so why share something as good as snap peas with the little ingrates?
Bragging rights – Gardeners really really like to brag about how big this grew, how many peppers they got, how early their first tomato was. It’s like comparing gold scores, except golf is the antithesis of gardening, unless you go to pick raspberries along the edge of the fairways, and I grew more anyways.
Vine ripe tomatoes – Tomatoes purchased from a store are indistinguishable from red plastic. Lightly toast buttered slices of a baguette under a broiler. Rub them with the cut surface of a garlic clove, and the surface of a dead-ripe just-picked warm-from-the-sun tomato. Toast just a bit more. Eat this toast with a glass of cold bone-dry Spanish champagne. Don’t understand? Refer back to taste. Then go get yourself some McNuggets.
Hmm, that’s 8 reasons. But what does it matter? You shouldn’t need any more stinkin’ reasons; gardening is just what the best people do, no matter what, no matter where!
Maybe some real gardeners can suggest a couple reasons more.


Larissa said...

excuse me - I would never pick McNuggets over Snap Peas, and while I wasn't super stoked to go out and garden when I was 8, I was very aware of what grew when, and I looked forward to the yearly return of several favorites whether edible or not.

I like to watch a lot of things grow now. I had a rooftop herb garden for crying out loud.

Perhaps the interest for kids just matures slowly.

Dodo said...

Ahhhh - #8..........
that should be reason enough!
I do think gardening saves me money - but mostly on the cost of a shrink I would certainly need if I did not have my garden.

The Phytophactor said...

Therapy! Good mental health. Bloody good reason #9. The Phactor thanks you and admits he's a bit chagrined that he didn't think of this himself as time and time again I've said gardening was for attitude adjustment (that and a margarita).

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Anonymous said...

I like to watch a lot of things grow now. I had a rooftop herb garden for crying out loud.

The Phytophactor said...

Actually watching things grow is one of my favorite things too, and especially since the university provides a greenhouse allowing me to indulge myself shamelessly. So that's a good #10, watch things grow.