Sunday, August 12, 2007

Why I'm Gardening for Life

I've been gardening for 20 years, but this year everything has shifted for me. Gardening has become a way of aligning my choices with my values. I'm now gardening for Life.

Whose life?
The life of the planet -- It's a small contribution, but I'm redesigning my gardens to minimize my family's dependence on foods that aren't locally grown.

The life of the animals we share the planet with -- My husband and I made the decision to naturalize a segment of our 2 1/2 acres two years ago, to buffer our home from the increasing traffic on the county road in front of our home, to give the area wildlife a breather, and to decrease the emissions from our lawn-mowing. It's more work than I expected. Keeping the invasive species in check so that a balanced woodland of native species can grow is proving to take lots of time and effort.

The life of my community -- I'm sharing from my garden more than before, with my neighbors and friends, to strengthen those vital community relationships. I'm asking more questions of my octagenarian neighbor with years of gardening and life wisdom.

The life of my family -- The fruits and vegetables I grow are fresher, tastier, and lots more fun. My daughter loves to help harvest, and that time spent outside is so much better for her than "screentime." Christmas gifts from the garden -- this year wild grape jelly -- help her understand that gift-giving (and life) is about more than buying and consuming.

My life -- I've made daily gardening a priority. Why drive to a gym to exercise in an air-conditioned room when I can get fresh air, exercise, solitude, an outlet for creativity, time for prayer, closeness to the earth, and a mental health boost while I work to benefit my planet, its animals, my community, my family, and myself? It's a win-win situation.

So, this blog will be about gardening as a way of Life, with occasional forays into other areas.



Barbee' said...

OH! Is this the end?! You mean I have read all the way to the beginning?!! Well, all I have to say is: You surely have your priorities straight, and have a lot going on. Keep up the good work. I admire you.

Laney said...

Thanks, Barbee! I'm on my way to your blog to check it out.