Unless you’re new to my blog, you know that David and I retired to a small country home in East Texas a couple of years ago. He grooms our 2+ acres with his riding mower, and I’m trying my hand at growing vegetables. Back in the spring I wrote this list of reasons to justify my new hobby.
- Gardening is good exercise. Wielding a rake, a hoe, and a shovel builds impressive biceps; squatting to plant, weed, and harvest improves flexibility and strengthens the legs; and chasing the birds and squirrels out of your tomatoes gets your heart rate up to an aerobic level.
- Gardening leads to social networking through sharing tips, stories, seeds, and produce. This tip can be paired with Item #1 as chasing down a reluctant neighbor who really doesn’t want another bag of excess zucchini can increase your heart rate.
- If you’re new at gardening, you can exercise your brain by learning how and when to plant, which end of the garlic bulb goes up, and how to pickle all that okra.
- Gardening gets you outside and away from the “screens” – unless you are one of the newbies mentioned in Item #3. If so you’ll probably carry your cell phone with you in order to search pertinent topics like “what the heck is an okra seedling supposed to look like.”
- Fresh produce is good for you – unless every recipe you use begins with “take a stick of butter.”
- Gardening can save you money at the grocery store – but it can cost you money at the garden center, especially if the grasshoppers are bad this year or your squash and zucchini have mildew. It can also cost you money at the tractor supply if you buy a motorized tiller in which case scratch off some of the benefits of Item #1.
- Gardening is a good excuse to go shopping for cute gardening outfits. Note that this further dilutes the benefits of Item #6.
- On a more serious note, watching the miracle of growth can be spiritually uplifting.
- Doing the hard work of gardening makes you appreciate what our ancestors went through and what some of those in third world countries are still going through just to scratch out a subsistence living.
- And finally, if you’re still a kid at heart, gardening is a good excuse to dig in the dirt and play in the water.
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