Well, this summer definitely got away from us! Between a big move to a new location, and big moves in the reality of Peregrine, the days never seemed to have enough hours in them. The stress was real at times, and the smallest details that I never usually would have noticed kept me up way later than they should have.
To say the least, chaos seemed to reign more often than not.
But - one small addition to our new space made a huge difference in how both Kat and myself were able to manage stress and re-focus our efforts on things that would make a difference...
and here it is. Out little 8 square feet of green has made more impact that I ever thought possible when we planted the seeds a few months back. Tending to the new, tender sprouts of thyme, basil, sage and our plucky pepper plant brought us back to basics, both mentally and physically and got me thinking. So, here it is, the case for gardening.
Now, gardening has received a bad rap with more people that it deserves. I bet most of you had an image of old ladies in big sun hats, pulling at weeds and trimming rose bushes spring to mind. But, a garden, even a small box in the window, has so much more to offer.
Gardening is good for you
First off, having a garden is good for you. Beyond just having more fresh produce at hand, tending a garden burns crazy calories (up to 400/hour in men) and offers an important time to yourself if you need it. Having an opportunity to tear at weeds or work the earth is a great way to reduce stress, and the richness of growing plants is a hard mood boost to ignore. The sense of achievement when your tomatoes are finally ready to eat feels pretty great too. The time that Kat and I spent tending to the herbs and plants that we can now harvest from was critical to keeping our heads on straight this past season. Put simply, happier people have gardens.
Gardening is good for the people around you
Nature helps man nurture. If you have kids, working with them in a garden is a great way to connect with them and help them develop critical skills. Kids can gain more independence, learn about success and how to deal with failure, and the immense power of patience. The time spent together working towards a common goal is also irreplaceable bonding time.
Gardening tastes good
The difference between fresh and dried herbs is apparent to most people. But if you think that the herbs in the produce section of your local grocery store are as good as it gets, get ready for a whole other level of flavor. Growing herbs is dead simple, and all you really need is an unused windowsill and a box. Herbs are also fairly low maintenance, rosemary, oregano and thyme stand out as being hardy little suckers. If growing produce is more your thing, the freshness of garden veggies is hard to beat. The food in most produce sections was picked at least a week ago, and being able to pick food at the height of it's ripeness is an amazing opportunity to get the most out of your food.
Growing your own food gives you access to parts of the plant that are often harder to find. Things like carrot tops, celery leaves and beet leaves are full of complex flavours and can take a meal from good to great. These parts of the plant often contain a huge dose of nutrients and vitamins
Where to start?
At this point in the season, its probably too late to go digging up the backyard and planning your first harvest. But, some plants are hardy enough to take on the cooler weather just around the corner. If you're looking to start your garden now, take a look at:
- Broad Beans
- Spinach and other Leafy Greens (we did chard)
- Blueberries (these will be ready to harvest next spring)
- Many types of herbs (Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano and Bay are good places to start)
What's important here is to start, whether it's a full plot, or a small box in the window, starting a garden is the first step to reaping the benefits to be had. If you want more info, stop by that garden supply place that you always drive past and ask them for a hand with planning a garden to fit your space.
If you need me, I'll be in the garden,
Thanks for reading,