Once you’ve been hit by the gardening bug, it’s hard to escape it.  You find yourself coming home from work exhausted but still eager to pull hoses, dig, hoe, and pull weeds.  Sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it?  Well…it is.  So why garden?

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Benefits

Gardening definitely takes some effort, but there are also a lot of rewards.  Gardening allows you to be more self-reliant (or Anti-reliant as I like to call it) by producing your own food.  It goes hand-in-hand with prepping (canning, dehydrating, and freezing).  It can also save you money on produce you would otherwise buy at the store.

Being in the garden has other benefits besides the obvious.  It is a great family activity, and is especially enjoyed by children.  My experience has been that kids like to get in the dirt.  If you work beside them they usually are happy to pull weeds.  They do tend to pull plants as well, but that is to be expected.  My children have a harder time turning down corn (and other vegetables) on their dinner plate that they have watched grow up from seed.  There is something to be said about having your hands in the dirt, and knowing where your food comes from.

A small garden can produce a lot of food.  An Article in Mother Earth News calculated the produce from a 100 square foot garden to be worth $683.  The cost of putting a garden in can range from very low cost to very high cost depending on what type of setup you choose and how much money you want to put into it.  Backwoods Home Magazine has a great article on building a garden with only $1.  If done right, the garden should not cost you an arm and a leg to produce good quality food.

One of my favorite summer activities is having a fresh garden salad for every dinner.  Undoubtedly there will be more fresh food grown than your family can eat.  I think that is why most gardeners end up giving a lot of their food away, or storing it for the winter.

Gardening Has Been Around For A Long Time

Gardening has been around for a long time.  Adam and Eve were put into the Garden of Eden and commanded to take care of it.

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

-Genesis 2:15

In about 600 B.C., Lehi’s family knew how to store and plant seeds.

And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the Earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem.  And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance.

-1 Nephi 18:24

Saving seeds is a popular activity for those preparing for a doomsday event.  I don’t think it is a bad idea to have seeds, but I wouldn’t rely on seeds alone.  Learning to garden takes practice.

Topics on Gardening

There are lots things to learn about gardening!  Here are some of the topics that I’ve thought of:

  • Plant timing.  Best time to plant a crop in your location.
  • Crop rotation/companion planting.
  • Fertilizing and plant nutrient requirements.
  • Plant spacing.
  • Soil types.
  • Climate zones.
  • Crop irrigation requirements.
  • How to save seeds.
  • How to avoid and deal with pests and disease.
  • How to plan a garden.
  • Gardening containers.
  • Fruit trees.

I  hope to cover many of these topics as I work on gardening for my antireliant project for May.

Why should I garden?  Because the benefits far outlast the effort, and I was meant to garden.

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.

-Thomas Jefferson

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Ben

(3) Readers Comments

  1. I’m glad to see you starting a garden. I love gardening. I am finding that very few people have gardens in the Dominican Republic That is really sad. Nothing tastes better than your own home grown corn, tomatoes, onions and carrots. It just makes my mouth water to think about it. I will look forward to what you discover.

  2. So what are planning on planting? I am trying my hand at tomatoes, crooked neck squash, bell peppers, jalapeño’s, and Okra.

    • My plan right now is to plant tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, zucchini, onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, and peas. I may also try my hand at growing some watermelon, cantaloupe, and pumpkins. I’m sure I missed something on the list.

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