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Why should I start a garden?

 
pollinator
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If you wanted to get someone pumped up about gardening what would you say?

What are your top 10 Reasons for starting a garden?
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New York Border-Appalachian Trail
New York Border-Appalachian Trail
 
gardener
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My number one reason for growing my own food by far is simply that I find very satisfying making my own land be productive for me, and I in return make the land better in return.  I have always been attached to land (I am a born and raised country boy and my soul would suffer if I had to live in a city) and I want to take care for the land just as the land takes care of me.

For me, gardening is very self-actualizing, an end unto itself.

Eric
 
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1) I want my family to eat healthy food and know exactly how it was grown
2) It's fun
3) It's healthy to work in nature with your hands
4) There is something magical about planting a seed and watching it become a plant

I guess those are enough reasons for me.
 
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Number 1: The stuff from my garden tastes way better than anything from the store!
 
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Taste and variety are major issues to begin. I keep doing it because it is fun.  I am not sure how much of a financial savings there is up front.
 
pollinator
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Coencidentally you post a hiking photo which is what I do when gardening is not an option. My wife would be happier if I just hiked and did not garden I think. Hiking is a great way to explore plant diversity including such activities as berry picking. It's not an either or, but time spent hiking and time spent gardening are separate and competing activities.

There is a convergence though between native plant and vegetable/fruit/grain gardening, ethical foraging and hiking, these are all ways to explore and connect with plant diversity in the natural world.

I garden in order to do vegetable breeding. I breed vegetables in hopes of supporting future generations in an ever changing world. Also because plant genetics is fun. Also because I love plants.

I garden in order to have a great variety of plants in a concentrated area.

I garden to explore plant diversity I can't go to, but that can come to me.

I garden with native plant diversity in order to preserve plant, insect, and pollinator diversity.

I garden for flavors, tastes, and textures not available in the grocery store.

I think about saving money, but mostly, honestly expend money on my gardening.

I garden for exercise because I know I won't exercise if it lacks a purpose. Likewise I hike to get to interesting plants.

Sometimes healthy food is a side benefit, but if I were better at managing it could be a primary purpose.

I garden to grow out and save the seeds of my seed collection which has gotten a smidgeon out of control.

I garden to connect future generations to the land, so that I can teach them essential skills and essential knowledge about where their food comes from and hoe to grow it.

Whatever you decide, I hope you spend lots of time outside and explore and connect with plant diversity in the natural world.
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Garden in February
Garden in February
 
pollinator
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in no particular order:

It's fun
It saves me money
It's good exercise
You can grow things you cannot afford to buy (like snap peas or asparagus)
It reduces your consumption of resources
It looks pretty
It's something to be proud of
And my last one which probably isn't a good one to hook people with, I make money off it.
 
Scott Foster
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Thanks for your input everyone!  Much appreciated.  

Regards, Scott
 
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And, they say getting your hands in the dirt and puttering in the garden lowers the blood pressure. That reason gets more important as each birthday ticks by.
 
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Everything above.

and to elaborate on the "pretty" comment,

It's a great way to express creativity/art, not just by the growing process, but by the building/constructing of growing areas.  
 
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#1 reason, according to mini mike bloomberg we don't have much gray matter between our ears so we just put a seed in a hole and throw some dirt on it and POOF we have plants to eat. (sorry I'm still mad about this idiot calling us dumb!!!)

so here are my real reasons

1. Home grown veggies, berries and fruits are usually better tasting and higher in nutrition that the stuff you get @ wally-world.
2. You can choose varieties that stores don't sell (an example is non GMO sweet corn that is only good for a few days after harvest) so the stores couldn't sell that as by the time it got to the store it would taste like cow feed corn....
3. I personally love gardening as it helps me to relax (though sometimes it can be stressful as when it doesn't stop raining ALL spring so I can't plow my fields) but other than things like that it is way more therapeutic to me and watching something YOU put in the ground growing and fruiting is very fulfilling.
4. Knowing exactly how I grew my food is great as some QUOTE " ORGANIC" food from other nations may not be actually organic as rules for different nations have some relaxed rules that would NEVER meat my personal standards.
5. Helping to keep our world better off by reducing CO2 by buying and selling locally so places like wally-world doesn't have to truck veggies from mexico or even south america to here and I further reduce CO2 by putting bio-char in the soil which has been shown to reduce and hold carbon in the soil instead of letting it into the atmosphere.
6. Using one mans trash to make another mans gold... Composting things that would otherwise go into our local landfills and instead using this to actually increase the value and productivity of my land.
7. I personally do as the Bible asks us ALL to do and give 10% of my crops to help those who otherwise couldn't afford my crops. This helps my fellow neighbors and helps our local churches to feed those that are in need.
8. Though my back is not agreeing with this as I transplant hundreds of onion sets and 8-10,000 tomato plants this spring, but for the most part working the land is healthier than many jobs and helps keeping me active and fit.
9. Unlike what mini mike thinks, farmers MUST use their brains to be able to increase production while reducing costs and figuring out how to do millions of things with little to no money and make things work and plan ahead for when a crop fails or doesn't do as expected. Also I'd like to see mini mike try to weld, fix broken equipment, patch up a hog that got into the barbed wire (part time vet) milk the cows, feed the chickens, gather the eggs and program the GPS on a John Deere to work the fields.
10. BY Paul Harvy.......

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.

"I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church.

"Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.'" So God made a farmer.
 
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