Monthly Book Giveaway - February 2023

Homesteading: Reflections #9: Benefits of Gardening

What are the benefits of gardening? Physical? Mental? Spiritual? Stewardship? Making a difference 

With age comes wisdom and, at 64, a lot of stuff that I have known for years, wisdom that I have known for years, seems to take on such a deeper level of meaning and power and peaceful connectedness. 

First, I have to say that I take my hat off to all the young ones who have reached such a level of awareness already on their journeys. I can’t even imagine the depth of understanding that you will have when you reach your Elder years. 

Benefits of Gardening: Keeping it Simple

The short list of what the benefits of gardening are is that it supports wellness, body, mind, spirit, and the stewardship of the land which is our responsibility as human beings.

When we think in those terms, of wellness and stewardship, life really gets simple. Think well, be well, do well. Done.

It is my belief that the meaning of life is about how we contribute to the greater good and, to do that, we need to take care of our bodies, the walking planet, so that our thinking is clear (and not toxic), and our focus can be on how to take care of and provide for others, including the soil in which we grow our food. 

Gardening Benefits For The Body

The evolution of mankind has been an interesting one since the 1800’s, especially the 1950’s and beyond. 

We seemed to have really gotten caught up in the possibilities of what we could create and lost sight of the impact we were having while doing so. The outcome was a very sick planet and a very sick us. 

We are toxic. With infants being born with over 100 toxins in their blood, at first breath, we have to look at how we can change that statistic! We have to change how we are living, what we are eating, and what we are putting into the earth, the water, and the air. 

The human body is like a planet, a walking planet, that is alive because of the flora and fauna. Our bodies are 99% living microbes that are not us and 1% DNA that is us! We need to take care of the 99% and that is through what we eat, drink, and breathe. 

So how does gardening make a difference? When we garden, when we grow our own food, we have a much higher level of control of what goes into and onto our food than when we purchase from a store. 

As gardeners, we are the gatekeepers of our food supply. “Know your farmer,” they say. Well, as a gardener, you know your farmer really well! 

Going to the Gym?
Or to the garden? Gardening can provide a great workout. 
  • Weighlifting? Check
  • Cardio? Check
  • Stretching & flexibility? Check 
Lift those rocks, dig those holes, walk those rows, pull those weeds.. and think of all that money you are saving on gym memberships! 

Gardening Benefits on The Mind

Let’s get logical here. What are your goals? To take care of your walking planet and that of your family members? 

Why are these your goals? Because you care? Because you know better so you can do better? 

How much easier it is to not get caught up in the bling, in the dangling carrots of consumerism, of commercialism, of keeping up with the Jones’ (no offends to the Jones families out there). 

Tending to your gardens and to your goals helps to live that simpler life, your life, your dreams. 

Be healthy. 
Think healthy.
Live healthy. 

Gardening Benefits on The Spirit

For me, spirituality is about understanding the interconnectedness of all things and the impact that we have, as just one tiny thread in the tapestry of life.

Gardening is such a huge part of that tapestry. Consider the contribution that it gives, not only to you and your family, but to the microbiome of the soil, to the creatures big and small, to the water and air… the list is huge!! 

As gardeners, we truly are connected with life and with the planet. 

Gardening Benefits Through Stewardship

The tapestry of life: it is so complex and so amazing .. and so fragile

One of the silver linings of the lockdowns of our recent history was the healing of the planet. We heard so many stories of the skies being clearer, the animals regaining habitat, of things returning to their more natural state, when we stopped travelling and we increased our DIY and cooking activities. 

On one hand, we can see what is possible through change  and, on the other hand, we can see the damage that we have done, the impact that we have had, over the past hundred years or so. 

We are stewards of the land. We make conscious decisions about how we impact the land, the water, the air. As decision-makers we can have an impact on this planet that is much greater than one of just living day by day. 

There are stories of people completely changing a landscape from one of devastation and depletion to one that is lush with plants and wildlife. They had a vision for the future. We have seen stories of garbage-ridden beaches being cleared and brought back to life. They had a dream of the possibilities. They were being good stewards. We can all be good stewards if we want to be and it can start with a garden.

On a personal note, I think of my beautiful Canadian Maple tree in my yard. I planted it 30 years ago and I remember my husband saying “you will never see this tree fully-grown”. My response was “somebody will”. 

The Native teachings remind us that: 
What we do impacts the next 7 generations. 

We are stewards of the land. Everything that we do has an impact. We may not see it in our lifetime, but it will still weave its way through the tapestry in some way. 

Plant a tree. 
Grow a ground over. 
Plant a seed. 
Use organic fertilizers. 
Be a steward of the land. 

Gardening: Making a Difference 

If you have ever said “oh, I’m only …” when it comes to how you are growing food, then I challenge you to change that thinking! 

That basil plant on your windowsill is making a difference!
That tomato plant growing on the deck? Making a difference.
One raised bed? Two? Three? Making a difference. 
A quarter-acre garden? One acre? Ten? Making a difference. 

Repeat after me: “I am making a difference. I am a gardener.” 

What are the benefits of gardening?

 It is an astronomically long list! 

Be a gardener and may your tapestry thread shine bright,

a simpler life