Why Grow a Garden?

Reader Contribution by Valerie Boese
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Every year I plant a very large garden and I wonder why? Caring for a garden consumes a lot of my free time. I often ask myself, it is really worth it? Most people rely on the store to put food on their table. Not I, I take the harder route growing my own fruits and vegetables. At times, seems like a slow and grueling process. I guess gardening, among many things, teaches you how to be patient. You wait patiently for seeds to mature into plants and grow fruit. Along the way, you take care of them, by weeding and watering, and you hope you will have good results. It seems like it takes forever, but suddenly there are vegetables to be picked, everywhere!

My garden vegetables are special because, not only are they fresh, I can eat them without the worry of pesticides. Yes, you can buy organic at the market, but they will never be as fresh or taste as good as growing it yourself. Growing a garden is not rocket science; it is simply tilling up the soil and laying down the seeds and plants, and taking care of them as they grow. When you grow your own garden, you can really appreciate the quality and freshness of vegetables. You will notice fresh cabbage cracks with crispness as it is cut with a knife and tomatoes burst with juice and flavor.

Today, I went out to my garden and picked my first fresh broccoli, cauliflower and greens. What a delight. There is nothing more gratifying, than walking to the garden and picking an armful of fresh vegetables for your next meal. Today, I eagerly brought my fresh vegetables into the kitchen. I washed off the dirt that had splashed on them from last nights’ rain. I sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and brushed them with olive oil. I laid them on a heated 375 F grill, with my favorite cut of meat, cooking them for about 15 minutes, turning them a couple of times. In the meantime, I washed the greens in a lettuce spinner and laid them on a cold plate. I cut up the finished, cooked grilled meat and vegetables, tossing them on the greens. It made a delicious and healthy lunch. With rising costs of fresh vegetables and fruits, I wonder why more people don’t give gardening, a try. Gardening is good for the heart and soul. I can’t wait for the tomatoes and cucumbers to be ready, yum! 

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