Surprising Benefits from Gardening – It’s more than Fresh Produce
Many people think gardening is all about food. They think gardening is for people who like to grow salads instead of buying them.
I have an entire container garden on my back porch that is mostly made up of flowers.
Free, organic, fresh food is one reason to garden – but it’s not the only one!
Surprising Benefits from Gardening
Benefit #1: Garden Work is Exercise
Yup. You’ll get a workout. Moving wheelbarrows of compost, planting onion sets and weeding all provide exercise. Some gardens provide more sweat than others, but they all will have you outside moving those joints.
Whether you are growing petunias or potatoes, a garden will ensure that you are spending time outdoors and moving.
Fresh air is so important to our health. Being outdoors with the trees and vegetation will provide more oxygen and improve your spirits.
Benefit #2: Garden Work is Good for Your Mood
When the homeschool is stressful and the kids are driving me crazy and life is just too hectic – the garden is my therapist. Being outdoors, feeling the dirt in my hands, and the sound of the birds can all take me to a place of calm. There have been countless times when life overwhelms and I look at my kids and say, “I need to go to the garden.”
We live in a wild world where we are constantly being seduced and surrounded by screens.
- I see people out everywhere (restaurants, coffee shops, bistros, etc) and everyone is staring at their phones.
- Almost all teenagers today are attached to a phone.
- It’s hard to have a conversation with someone today without them looking at their phone.
- And try to find a restaurant that doesn’t have a television in every corner of the room.
We are surrounded. And the screens are winning.
Time in your garden can provide a much-needed break from our electronically centered lives.
A garden is a haven without all the white noise.
There is something about being outside away from all the screens that bring refreshment and sanity. Suddenly, life’s worries seem to melt away and it’s just me and my plants.
Benefit #3: Peace and Quiet
Many of you may have quiet homes where you can read, have uninterrupted conversations and complete a thought.
I do not.
If I want to be alone – my garden is usually a good place to do it.
My children know that if they make an appearance one of 2 things will probably happen:
- I’ll put them to work.
- I’ll send them to the house to get something for me (like a drink of water)
Garden = Quiet Happy Place
Benefit #4: A Garden will make Your Place Prettier
A few containers dripping with flowers is a sure way to add a little pizzaz to any space.
A vegetable garden can be just as beautiful. I often combine types of plants.
- I grow herbs in my flower pots alongside my vincas.
- I grow marigolds next to my tomatoes.
All plants can be beautiful. There are few things that can brighten a space as nicely as some living plants.
Benefit #5: Your Food will be Healthier
If you are growing some veggies, leafy plants or herbs, it will improve your diet. Most food sold in groceries travel an average of 5 days on a truck. This doesn’t include the time it spends on airplanes, in holding or on display for sale at the grocer before it goes home. Fresh produce from a supermarket is rarely ‘fresh.”
When you grow your own veggies they are literally going from the garden to your table. The fruit (or veggies) can be picked at the peak of ripeness, increasing the nutritional value.
Benefit #6: A Garden will Make Your Soul Happy
Gardening is not just a means to healthy food. It is not just activity and exercise. It is soul therapy.
Watching a seed emerge from the ground and sprout into a glorious plant dripping with flowers is my tonic.
It feeds my soul.
It delights me.
It brings me joy.
The growth of seeds into plants keeps my eyes on the giver of all things.
I can plant. I can water. I can weed. But I can not cause the seed to sprout, I can’t make the plant grow. And I can’t produce the fruit. God does.
This is the miracle I breathe in all season.
Benefit #7: It’s Science Yo!
Believe it or not, gardening is science. For years and years, I did not teach formal “science” in my homeschool. We LIVED science. There were cows to inseminate, eggs to incubate, seeds to sprout, and dozens of other farm chores that took the place of books in our homeschool.
From the first seed that sprouts to the biggest pumpkin at harvest time. It is like watching a miracle each year as the garden comes to life and produces its bounty.
Benefit #8: Life Skills that Matter
Even if you aren’t a prepper, you can agree that knowing how to provide for yourself is pretty darn cool.
If all the stores closed – I could go on. And You can too!
Benefit #9: Having a Garden will Save You Money
Especially if you shop in the organic section of the grocery. Whew!
Heirloom tomatoes, fresh beans, giant peppers and dozens of other crops can be plucked from your own plot if you are willing to give gardening a chance.
I grow over 50 varieties of vegetables, herbs and edible crops. My grocery bill is noticeably lower during spring, summer, and fall. If you are intentional and make a conscious effort to plan your meals around your garden you can maximize savings.
Benefit #8: Satisfaction – Gratification – Fulfillment
Having a garden can make your life better.
When I set out on my personal journey to grow my own food I was seeking health. What I found was a more enriched, fulfilling life.
There is great satisfaction in planting seeds, tending a garden and feeding the bounty to your family.
It’s hard to explain and probably sounds a bit whack. Take my word for it, when you serve a meal that you not only “cooked” but also raised yourself – you will be Wonder Woman (or Wonder Man).