Why You Should Garden

My wild, overgrown garden.

I’m a shitty gardener. I’ve killed more plants than I’ve grown, but I’ve learned to celebrate the small successes (a fresh cherry tomato straight off the vine, anyone?), and learned to forget about the failures.

My garden is a mass of intertwined plants all competing for light and nutrients. I get overly excited when I get seeds and figure I’ll overplant and let Darwin decide what I eat. I haven’t pruned back my aggressive tomatoes who are climbing all over my corn plants. My poor bell pepper plant has produced three peppers but is quickly getting crowded out by the faster growers. The beans have sprouted, but I think the Japanese beetles are going to take them out. It’s just a learning process and if I get a single bean-I shall feast on its flesh!

A whole corn plant. The top part fertilizes the tassle (about halfway down)
My first time seeing a corn tassle.

This is the first time the corn made it this far. Last year they were eaten by rabbits before they had a chance. This year, in their fenced kingdom, are now five feet tall and will surprise me with whatever they do next. I’ve been told tassels are involved, and I can’t wait! The cherry tomatoes are amazing growers, and I think everybody could start with those. Another easy plant is garlic. You just plug a couple of cloves in the ground in the fall and forget about them. You can eat the leaves when they grow in the early spring and then pull them when the leaves start turning brown.

As you can see, gardening has given me something to talk about. I am also benefitting from the ability to eat fresh food (in tiny amounts), and it puts me in touch with nature for a few minutes. Throughout most of human history, a majority of our time was spent farming, foraging, hunting, or gathering. Now, look at us, we drive-thru restaurants that get us the food the fastest. We have lost a connection to an important part of our history; and gardening, in any fashion, seems like a good way to reconnect.

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Grumpy old man who loves all of you.

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Michael Randazzo

Michael Randazzo

Grumpy old man who loves all of you.

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