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Why do you garden?

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:41 pm
by lynn565
Hey guys...I'm new here and I've been reading through your posts. One thing occurred to me: With all the issues and problems that arise when growing your vegetables...why do you do it?

What's your main motivation?

I got interested in veggie gardening to save money. I also got sick of the tasteless stuff I bought at the store. But I'm wondering if the touble is worth it?


Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:57 pm
by elevenplants
Oh ho. You've opened up a can of worms with this question! :lol:

As for myself, here is my answer:

I garden because there is nothing in this world - excepting parenthood - that gives me the sense of acccomplishment I get from successfully sheparding tiny seeds through their baby stage, their adolescent stage, into mature and healthy plants. (Hey, come to think of it, maybe gardening IS a form of parenting!) I garden because nowhere that I know of - with the possible occasional exception of the local farmer's market - can I find vegetables that have been grown with the care and nurturing that I give them; they are fresh (check out how long your supermarket veggies sit on refrigerated train cars and trucks before they're even put out onto the shelves); they are unmodified genetically, as I use only heirloom seeds whenever possible; they are delicious; they are uber-convenient.

I would list even more reasons but time does not permit right now. I hope you get lots of answers. You've posed a great question for this forum.

....and one last word: YES!! It's worth it. :-)


Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:03 pm
by hendi_alex
For me, the number one reason is that home grown can't be bought. Then there are so many secondary reasons. The idea of being partially self sufficient comes to mind. Then there is the rewarding experience of getting just a little closer to nature, watching those plants move from seed to plant to fruit. There is the outdoor aspect, especially during the spring when everthing is waking. Of course there is the the social aspect as both a family activity and also a sharing activity, sharing with family, neighbors, friends. Finally, gardening to me is like one of those ultimate strategy games. There are so many variables, and no completely right way to do things. It provides a life long experiment with different vegetables, different varieties, different techniques. Complex enough to keep one's attention for a life time, yet simple enough for any child to participate.

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:18 pm
by lynn565
elevenplants wrote:Oh ho. You've opened up a can of worms with this question! :lol:
Oops, I hope not! I'm just trying to get a little inspiration. I love the idea of growing my own veggies but it's a little frustrating when I see the tons of issues people have actually getting them to grow!

But I've loved the answers so far!

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:26 pm
by 2cents
There is a show on the food network called "Chopped". The participants get a basket full of ingredient and have to create a meal/dish from these.
What comes out of the garden is a little like the show, in a couple of months I will bring into the kitchen say; 5 radishes, 2 hands of green beans, a crook neck squash, and basil and dill.
Somehow the master chef always knows what to do, although I've heard a time or two, What am I supposed to make with this?
Now our daughter is getting into the process, I can't wait to see what she comes up with.

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:51 pm
by elevenplants
Well, Lynn, I was trying to be funny with the can of worms comment, cause actually, as long as they're earthworms, that would be a GOOD thing! :lol:


Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:40 pm
by cynthia_h
If you've ever bought produce at a farmers' market, you know how much better it was than what you bought at the supermarket.

Now...imagine your own produce. It's as much better than the farmers' market as *that* was relative to the supermarket.

Absolutely fresh, organic produce in the varieties that *you* want, cooked / served immediately (or at least the same day) after picking and cleaning?

Plus...the deep satisfaction that derives from knowing that you yourself are responsible for this part of your own food. You're not totally dependent on others for your sustenance.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:59 pm
by smokensqueal

1. I'm super cheap and it saves me money if I can do it right. (last year late in the year had a huge crop of tomatoes. The wife canned them and now we have red sauce all winter long that we don't have to buy!)

2. I really don't like dealing with people and gardening gives me the time alone that I need to keep from going crazy. This forums great because I can talk to people when I feel like it and go back in my hole when I don't. :lol:

3. Everything else is a challenge. Pests, growing the plants from seed, keeping them alive, getting them to thrive. And I LOVE me a good challange! :?

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:04 pm
by Venomous_1
In no particular order:

1) FRESHNESS - Nothing like stepping out to the garden, grabbing a head of lettuce, a little romaine as well, cucs, carrots, tomatoes, etc. and making a nice FRESH salad to go with your meal. Or just to have a refreshing lunch for that matter. Nopo...can't buy that in any store or restaurant.

2) Diito to 11plants...a sense of accomplishment. Caring for things from the time you plant those seeds to the time you reap the reqards.

3) $ - I don't save a bunch of money, but I definately come out ahead.

4) Safety - Since I grow it, water it, take care of it and can some of it...I know what's in it. I don't have to worry about what got in my food during the manufacturing process.

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:19 pm
by smokensqueal
Venomous_1: Ah yes I forgot about the Safety one. Since I now have kids I would have to put that as #1 for me. The scariest part is when they have to recall fresh veggies. That really make me wonder about how they even grow the things not including how they process that stuff. :cry:

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:31 pm
by lynn565
elevenplants wrote:Well, Lynn, I was trying to be funny with the can of worms comment, cause actually, as long as they're earthworms, that would be a GOOD thing! :lol:

I did get it...thought it was funny! But you never know, sometimes there are sensitive topics on forums.

I thought I'd tread lightly to start!


Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:32 pm
by lynn565
smokensqueal wrote:Why?

1. I'm super cheap and it saves me money if I can do it right. (last year late in the year had a huge crop of tomatoes. The wife canned them and now we have red sauce all winter long that we don't have to buy!)

2. I really don't like dealing with people and gardening gives me the time alone that I need to keep from going crazy. This forums great because I can talk to people when I feel like it and go back in my hole when I don't. :lol:

3. Everything else is a challenge. Pests, growing the plants from seed, keeping them alive, getting them to thrive. And I LOVE me a good challange! :?
I love your second reason! :lol:

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:37 pm
by lynn565
You know...I never thought about safety but that's a huge benefit. I've got a 5 year old and it scares the heck out of me whenever fresh produce is recalled.

But I think saving money and the improved flavor are huge, too.

You know, my grandma used to grow veggies, cook and bake from scratch, sew her own clothes, knit and a bunch of other stuff I wouldn't have a clue about doing myself.

I remember her homemade noodles in a fresh bowl of steamy chicken soup that had carrots and celery from her garden. OMG!

Anyway, I'm digressing. But this thread is really inspiring me. I was supposed to go to the local organic gardening place today for soil for my square foot garden I'm starting but we're being pelted with huge thunderstorms.

Hopefully I can make it later.

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:37 pm
by Gary350
The garden is a fun hobby. I am up early every morning with the birds to work in the garden for about 30 minutes. The garden refreshes my soul, it is a good way to start the day. The fresh morning air and warm morning sun are very refreshing. Later I might can tomatoes or beans. I might pick a few Blackberries and make a blackberry cobler or I might make some home yeast bread or maybe some jam or a pie. After working in the garden I set next to the garden under a shade tree with a glass of ice tea and watch the birds and butterflies. We have the worlds best vegatable dinner every evening. Then an hour before sun down I water the garden if it needs it.

Grocery store tomatoes have as much flavor as cardboard. Garden tomatoes are GOOOOOOOD.

Grocery store canned beats "SUCK". Garden beats are very good.

Grocery store corn is very plain. Garden corn is very good.

Many things grown in the garden taste much better than grocery store and cheaper too but one thing for sure, if I grow it I know it is 100% organic. No toxic crap in my food.

I have a good supply of mason jars. I can lots of food from the garden so we can eat garden vegatables all winter. Nothing tastes better than fresh vegatables from the garden in the summer.

Garden Pizza is really good. Home made yeast pizza dough. Sliced tomatoes, sliced squash, onion, garlic, bell peppers, banana peppers, a little red pepper, cheese, sauce, wow, good.

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:46 pm
by Charlie MV
I eat, therefore I garden.

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:26 pm
by jal_ut
I guess its a way of life. Grandpa had a garden, Father had a garden, I grow a garden, my children grow gardens.

When my kids were at home we actualy ate out of the garden. Without it we would have been hungry many times.

There is a big economic benefit from a good sized home garden.

You can't get a good tomato or cantaloupe or fresh green beans and peas unless you grow it yourself.

Anything else you grow in your garden is so much fresher and tastier than you can buy.

You know what went on your garden as far as chemicals etc.

I really enjoy the time spent in the garden.

Is that enough reasons?

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:57 am
by Earl K
i grow because it is a great feeling coming home from work and seeing what a difference a day makes,new blossoms,new leaves,new tomatos,peppers,zuchini coming along,and waiting on the strawberries,just came in from moving all my plants for better sun. yes,my garden is all in buckets but i still enjoy every day and cant wait to pick my first homegrown anything

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:52 am
by lynn565
I can really feel how much you all ove to garden.

I'm totally convinced. I've been wanting to do it for a long time so I'm jumping in this weekend.

1 square foot garden (4 x 4) is what I'm starting with. I can't wait to come back here with my progress!!

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:15 am
by 2cents
a 4x4 is an excellent way to start.
you can pack those small raised beds with lots of produce.

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:28 am
by jal_ut
Another reason:


Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:07 pm
by petalfuzz
I started gardening because I got a rabbit. She demanded fresh produce. And variety. I said, "how hard would it be to grow my own lettuce?" Now I'm growing 10 different salad crops, 10 different tomatoes, and 5 or more types of pepper. Plus corn and summer squash, watermelon, and herbs. Oh, and fruit plants too. Ha, ha. Who knew a rabbit could open this can of worms?

Also, it's rewarding, it saves money over grocery store prices, it tastes better, is fresher, isn't laden with chemicals, good for the environment, good for my health, etc. It has also allowed me to learn something new and also learn how to store my harvest: mainly canning and freezing. Some drying. It's made me more conscious of where my food comes from.

I love my rabbit and I love gardening!!

why garden

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:06 pm
by rainbowgardener
All of the above, ditto, ditto. But gardening keeps me out in the sunshine and fresh air. I'm not a person who can just sit on the deck and soak up sun for too long, I need to be doing something. It gives me a personal connection to what I eat (I not only know where my veggies came from, I know where the soil they grew in came from and I helped create it and often I know where the seeds for my flowers came from because I grew and harvested them) which I find deeply satisfying. It keeps me connected to nature and the cycles of the seasons. Often it drives me crazy... the weather people on TV are saying "it's another beautiful, sunny day" and never mention that we are deep in drought and everything is dying for lack of water. I feel like in small ways, I'm giving back to Gaia, mother earth by caring for the soil, restoring my little patch of ground, planting native plants... And everything is so beautiful. The flowers, and the butterflies, and birds and the whole little ecosystem I'm creating. I grow lots of stuff that is fragrant or aromatic and sometimes I just walk through my garden and smell things -- it's aromatherapy! It lifts my heart, the smells and the colors and the birdsong. Keeps you grounded in the sensory world instead of the high tech abstract sterile computer world we live in so much. See also my post on gardening as a spiritual path! "You are closer to God in a garden than anywhere else on the earth."

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:44 am
by ManokAnak
I was probably gardening before I could walk. My parents garden, my grandparents garden and used to farm, my great grandparents gardened and used to farm, their parents in Italy had farms and so on. I guess you can say it is in my blood to garden. I get urges to garden. Gardening is relaxing to me. Every weed pulled is a childhood memory. Yes, i like pulling weeds. Most important thing about gardening, especially young people my age who grew up on video games, it gets us all outside and we bond. Favorite part of gardening, there is nothing more better than a fresh tomato or cucumber off the vine! Also, my friends learned a lot about how food really is made and about our native plants and pollinators. ( i have native plants and a vegetable garden, hopefully native fruit trees in the future)Gardening is also educational. Also, we plant some food for our turtles.

I really cannot think of anything more rewarding than the hard work put into he garden come harvest.

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:39 pm
by pepper4
This is my first year. I decided to do veggies because I enjoy planting and growing flowers, herbs ect. I have always had pretty good luck with both inside andd outside plants. I decided to start most my stuff from seed because I enjoy watching them grow. I have seedlings throughout my house. Can't wait to get them in the ground and watch them mature and produce. To me it's amazing to watch the whole process. I did plant radish seed outside about 5 days ago. Everyday, sometimes twice a day I go out and check for any kind of growth. Money was a bit of a factor. I use alot of onions and peppers so hopefully I can save alittle there. Depending on this year I would like to expand and try some canning. That would be a first also. Have fun and enjoy! :)

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:38 am
by soil
gardening is good for the mind, body and soul. nothing like getting out in the sun and working some soil.

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:35 pm
by wolfwalkerpa
I almost started gardening real early my mom was riding a horse in the garden and the horse fell and she fell off i was born a few hours later.Now i garden because its something i always done for over 60 years and i feel so alive seeing the new tomatoes etc growing from little plants or sprouts into nice healthy plants.

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:22 pm
by lynn565
pepper4 wrote: I use alot of onions and peppers so hopefully I can save alittle there. Depending on this year I would like to expand and try some canning. That would be a first also. Have fun and enjoy! :)
I use a lot of those, too. But my gosh...the price of red peppers is outrageous!

I've got my garden planted (tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, cucumbers, radishes and a bit of cilantro for my home made salsa).

I love reading about why you guys love to garden.

Here's why I started:

I love the idea of being self sufficient, I like knowing where my veggies come from and how they're grown and I can't wait to taste fresh veggies.

My mom didn't have a store bought fruit or veggie until she was 20 and she never had to go to the doctor. I'm thinking the vitamins are also more than in store bought produce.

why do you garden

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:36 pm
by pepper4
You may be right about the vitamins in veggies. My dad was raised on home grown fruits and veggies. He continued to grow much of his veggies and is now 82 very active and healthy. Believe it or not he still has his orginal teeth. His dad was a big time farmer and lived a healthy active life until the age of 94. :D

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:54 pm
by Sweet Petunia
I don't really know why I love to garden so much. I have always lived in the country. Me and my Daddy always planted a garden together....and I was definaltely a Daddy's girl. It was the one thing we loved to do together. He is gone now and every year when Spring begins I get this acheing in my heart to be in the middle of it. I love the way the dirt feels between my fingers and my toes. I love the smell of it. I love to plant seeds and watch them come to life and grow and become all that God intended them to be. I feel an amazing energy when I walk in my yard! I think it is just a gift that I was born with. Its my happy place in this ol world. The garden is where I feel at peace and one with nature and God. I have always said that if we have jobs to do when we go to heaven, I want to work in Heavens garden!! Can you imagine how beautiful that would be?
And I also love to reap what I have sown ( :wink: in the garden,that is) and love shareing my harvest with other people. It doesnt take a smart person to plant a garden. Anyone can do it. But it is one of the most rewarding things to do. I guess thats why I do it.

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:58 pm
by PeterMcC
I work on a computer all day (and sometimes all night too) so really enjoy getting out in the fresh air.

I love the smell and feel of the earth and my little girls help too, which usually means I get nothing done. But once I can keep the blasted dog off the cabbage plants its usually great fun.

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:12 am
by atascosa_tx
Why do I love gardening?...Imagine this,,
take some bowed pieces of wood...and then take a saw in one hand and a sander in the other and then you work to create a piece of art. Make a planter, make a hutch, or even a windmill... pure enjoyment
Same as sow the seed, you take care of it, you transplant it..
You reap the rewards of your hard work...and the plants are a work of art.

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:01 am
by BlueBerryGarden
I just recently started gardening but I started to plant foods for all my pets...Consisting mostly of rodents so they easily can live off foods I can grow. I'm hoping to grow my veggies and be able to feed them that way, instead of spending tons of money weekly to feed just my animals. (I hope anyway! I just started planting them). But I also enjoy watching them grow. It gives me a relaxing feeling to go sit outside and just plant something new or water my existing plants. I love when they first germinate. I'm a teacher but I'm taking time off right now to complete a few Child Care classes I need to complete. So, this is a great way to spend my empty time.

why i garden

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:09 am
by pointcook phil
Gardening is exactly what everyone has said on here. I personally took it up when I was I very sick and was told I had a terminal illnessa at age 30. I vividly remember coming home from weeks in hospital and relieved to see plants and sunshine. I was sitting in the shade on a very hot day feeling quite awful until i noticed some seedling I had planted before diagnosis were wilting...with limited energy i watered these and watched standup and get on with their growing. This started a passion for gardening for me that all these folks have described. Seven years later I have a created my own garden from scratch. It is full of colour, fragrance, edible fruits and veges and most importantly full of life...I too am now full of life. Gardening wont cure my disease but it makes me forget and actually keeps me very healthy.

So please do give it a go.

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:20 pm
by The Helpful Gardener
What a great post lynn...

ALthough I am expanding the veggie garden now, it is a fairly new feature to a fairly old gardening career. I love veggie gardening more all the time (hence the expansion), but it sure ain't what sucked me in two plus decades back...

Rainbowgardener said it best; it's that primal tug that keeps us all tied in to the seasonal clock, it's the magic trick of harvesting your own seeds, storing them and returning the plants to life after a cold snowy winter, it's watching the birds and butterflies that you planted plants specifically for showing up and using them, and watching the soil you are nurturing get better and better every year...

Gardening is how I plug into the part of me that IS nature and keep it alive... a pretty smart guy once said...

“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us “universeâ€

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:45 pm
by zombunny
I stared gardening because I like to know exactly where my food comes from.

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:25 pm
by GardenLisa
I have a problem with patience. Gardening teaches you patience...
Also, I find it so relaxing. The only way I know of to clear my mind. It's better than any other form of medication for me.

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:57 pm
by Billy
one word..... LOVE

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:40 pm
by DiJon
Great posts everyone, thank you for all of your responses. I find it great what a visceral connection to gardening many of you seem to have. Personally, while I find the explosive growth of plants and the transformation from seed to food incredibly fascinating, mostly I garden because it's work thats just hard enough and just mentally engaging enough to be thoroughly meditative and thoroughly rewarding. Also, if I have an excuse to be outside, I'll take it.

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:45 pm
by jal_ut
Uh.... what was the question?

Oh, yes two questions.
why do you do it?

What's your main motivation?
Good questons. Every year lately I have been tilling my wife I was going to cut my garden in half .................... so, what did I just do? Tilled up another 2200 sq feet of space. Go figure.

Some reasons (can't say which is the main motivation):

Great tasting veggies.
Loads of good food.
I enjoy growing veggies.
$$$ yes, contrary to some notions, there is a great economical benefit. I have kept some detailed records of expenses and yields, and can say for sure the $ rewards are there.