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The Gap Year Blog

Why Gardening Matters

26 Mar 2018 11:15 AM

Flickr | Florian Bugiel

Edited with permission by Frontier

Community gardens are popping up around the world. They gain a large popularity especially in cities where inhabitants usually lack the connection with nature. Easier than ever you can become a member of the gardening community and even attend the gardening workshops which are beneficial for complete beginners as well as advanced gardeners. In case you’re wondering why you should bother with digging soil on your free Sundays, read further.

Your own food always tastes better

Rita is a passionate gardener who leads several workshops in London and she can really make you feel excited about seeds and the soil! When she speaks about plants, she refers to them as her children. “Plants are like babies. You don’t want to put a baby in a soggy bed,” explains the gardener with excitement in her voice, and you just can’t resist her positive vibes.

Pixabay | Tutorix

While considering plants as babies, one can hardly waste their fruits. Especially after investing so much effort, energy and intellectual capital into their growth. While it’s ridiculously easy to buy some veggies in the supermarket, a growing number of people are discovering the magnificence of eating  homegrown food. In the end, if gardening was a mainstream trend, Britain might reduce its unbelievable amount of food waste easily.

Let your money grow

On the fence bordering one community garden in Vancouver, the graffiti says “Grow your food, grow your money”. This quote is inspirational for many people. The cost of food was also one of the reasons Rita started gardening. In a sense, gardening gives you freedom and probably also a bit of certainty that you’d able to feed yourself even with a lack of finances. Although community gardening probably won’t lead to entire financial freedom, it will be highly beneficial for your budget.

In this short documentary video by the Respectful Revolution project, one of the ecovillage residents says:  “I don’t stress about money as much because I don’t really need it as much. I end up growing the food that I need to eat so I don’t feel like I have to make this much money to be able to go to the grocery store."

Pixabay | rawpixel

Reconnect with nature

Gardening enables you to watch the whole life of your courgette - from a seed to your plate. It gives lessons in patience and responsibility. According to Satish Kumar, nature is the greatest teacher. He wishes gardening and cooking to become compulsory parts of elementary education. “Learn how the tomato seed is coming out of the ground and overnight is becoming green and then yellow and red and then sweet and delicious. The first principle you need to learn is the miracle of life.”

Catch some vitamin D

Of course, a garden forces you to stay outside, which is great for your body and mind. Not only because of the physical activity or fresh air but also from vitamin D gained from sunbathing. Therefore, especially for vegans, gardening should be a must-do.

Pixabay | GregReese

The community of gardeners

Meeting new people isn’t limited by the fence of your community garden. You can build the community outside of your neighborhood too. Gardening workshops, for instance, provide great opportunities to meet fellow gardeners and gain some extra knowledge about your seeds.

The beauty of nature lies in its unpredictability. That means that even if you conscientiously count your seeds, you can be lucky enough to end up with a number of tomatoes that you can’t even deal with. And if spaghetti sauce is not what you want to eat on a daily basis, you must start building a network of people to whom you can donate your surplus. Moreover, homegrown veggies are a perfect gift for close family as well as distant relatives. It’s an old truth that food brings people together.

By Eliška Olšáková  Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!