1. Gardening teaches us about our environment and ourselves
We learn how to take care of something we have created. We learn patience and perseverance. We learn responsibility and respect. We learn how to work together and cooperate. We learn what happens if we don't do anything. We learn how to make decisions and solve problems. We learn how to communicate effectively. We learn how to appreciate beauty and nature. We learn how to live simply and responsibly.
2. Gardening gives us a sense of accomplishment
We get to create something out of nothing. We get to watch things grow. We get to eat the fruits of our labor. We get to enjoy the results of our hard work. We get to feel proud of what we've accomplished. We get to share our creations with others. We get to help people who may not otherwise have access to fresh food. We get to teach children about gardening and nutrition. We get to give back to Mother Nature.
3. Gardening helps us understand our place in the world
We realize that everything around us was once just a seed. We realize that we're only here today because someone planted a seed long ago. We realize that we depend on the earth's natural processes to sustain us. We realize that we need each other to survive. We realize that we are connected to everyone else on Earth. We realize that we cannot exist without the rest of the planet.
4. Gardening makes us aware of our own mortality
We know that someday we'll die. We know that we won't always be able to garden. We know that we should cherish the time we have now while we still have the chance. We know that we shouldn't waste any opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
5. Gardening provides us with a sense of purpose
We find meaning in helping to nurture and protect the earth. We find meaning in caring for those less fortunate than ourselves. We find meaning in sharing our knowledge and skills with others. We find meaning in being self-reliant. We find meaning in working together to accomplish great things.
6. Gardening brings us closer to God
We become more conscious of the Creator and His creation. We begin to appreciate the wonders of the universe. We start to understand that we are a small part of a much larger whole. We start to understand the importance of taking care of the earth. We start to understand our connection to God.
7. Gardening connects us to the past
We connect to the generations before us who cultivated gardens and cared for them. We connect to the cultures that grew food and lived off its bounty. We connect to the farmers who worked the land and brought forth the harvest. We connect to the people who ate the food they produced. We connect to the ancestors who passed down their wisdom and knowledge.
8. Gardening connects us with the future
We connect to the next generation of gardeners, farmers, and cooks. We connect to the new ways of growing food and living that will emerge as technology advances. We connect to the unknown possibilities that lie ahead.
9. Gardening allows us to escape from the daily grind
It can be difficult to maintain focus when you're busy all day every day. Gardening is an activity that requires little effort but yields big rewards. You don't have to do anything special or complicated. All you really need is a few hours of your time every week.
10. Gardening teaches us patience
The process of nurturing plants takes time. Sometimes it doesn't go exactly how we planned. But if we keep at it, eventually the plants will reward us with beautiful flowers, delicious fruit, and nourishing vegetables.
11. Gardening gives us hope
Even though we may not see immediate results, over time we will reap the benefits of our efforts. Our work will improve the quality of life for many generations to come.
12. Gardening reminds us that we're never alone
No matter what we face, there are countless others out there who share our passion for gardening. There are people all over the world who grow food and provide for themselves and their families.
13. Gardening helps us live simply
When we spend money on food, we use up resources that could be put towards other important things. By growing our own food, we avoid using valuable resources. Instead, we conserve energy and water. We reduce pollution by cutting back on transportation costs. We save money on taxes because we produce our own food instead of buying it.
14. Gardening makes us healthier
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables has been proven to help prevent certain diseases. Growing our own food also means knowing where it comes from. This helps us make better decisions about what we buy and consume.
15. Gardening improves our mental health
Gardening reduces stress and anxiety. It's relaxing and enjoyable. And it provides us with something meaningful to do in our spare time.
16. Gardening teaches us responsibility
If we want to eat healthy, then we must take care of ourselves. We must learn to cook and prepare wholesome meals for ourselves. We must learn which foods are good for us and which ones aren't.
17. Gardening encourages us to get outdoors
Being outside is great for our physical well-being. Fresh air keeps us happy and healthy. Getting some sun boosts our moods while providing vitamin D for strong bones. Nature offers us rest and relaxation.
18. Gardening teaches us humility
Gardening is hard work. It's messy and sometimes frustrating. We often fail to meet our goals. We lose crops and plants. We get hurt picking and pruning. But this is part of the experience. Humility comes from accepting these realities and learning from them.
19. Gardening brings us together
Gardening is a shared hobby. Everyone can participate no matter what their age, gender, race, religion, or financial situation. Anyone can start growing their own food today!
20. Gardening is fun
Gardening is one of those activities that just feels right. You feel satisfied after you've completed your tasks. You don't have any chores left to do, but you still feel like doing more. Gardening is an activity that everyone should try at least once.
What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
Dr. Vandana, Co-Founder, UrbanMali.com