A couple of months ago, I embarked upon a gardening journey: I got my first garden plot and I planted it with some of my favourite fruits and veg: cucumber, tomato, beans, lettuce, and basil, among other things. As I mentioned in a previous post, there are many benefits of growing your own food, and I had every intention of reaping all those benefits this summer.
Alas, life got in the way and I was forced to spend considerably less time at my plot than I originally planned. In fact, I only watered it a handful of times, and my best friend’s parents, who live down the street from my plot, adopted my garden as their own.
But then one day, I finally had a chance to go to my plot for longer than 20 minutes for the first time in months. And, let me tell you, it was beautiful. I mentioned in my original blog post that one of the benefits of growing food is connecting to nature and I did not exaggerate. I won’t lie, this summer has been all kinds of stressful for all kinds of reasons. This was the first chance I had in what seems like entirely too long to be idle and attempt to come down from the excitement. It turns out ending my day with gardening was exactly what the doctor would have ordered, had I consulted one.
Originally, I was only planning on going to the garden to check up on the plants, water the plots at the request of my best friend’s mama, and maybe pick a couple of things. Easy peasy. And, while that is basically what happened, it felt so much deeper than that. I picked beans, tomatoes, carrots, one beet, and kale. I sang to the plants as I watered them. I hummed as I cleaned up after myself. I left my apartment one person and came back a person with way lower blood pressure and much less tension in her upper traps. What I’m trying to tell you in my long-winded way is that nature is healing and we need to give ourselves time to engage with it. Not only did I leave with my giant reusable bag full of goodies and a tummy full of delicious cherry tomatoes (one must snack while one picks, I don’t make the rules), I also left with a clearer idea of what I want to for myself and the Earth. Even an extra hour with some plants that I ended up eating made me recommit to things that I tend to forget in the hubbub of my daily city-based life.
I encourage you to become friends with plants, whether in a garden plot of your own, an urban farm, or a pot in your teeny-tiny apartment (sorry, Torontonians) because it’s a small but powerful way to remind yourself what we are working towards with our eco-efforts. It’s a small reminder of how abundant and precious the environment is and how worth it nature is.
What kinds of things keep you committed to your eco-friendly journey? Did you grow anything this summer? If so, what? If not, would you want to do it in the future? Tell us your stories below!