My family always had a garden and I've always had a garden of some sort since reaching adulthood. However it was the pandemic that led me to expand and do what actually makes me happy. I went from two raised beds in 2020 to nine by the end of the season. I relied on what seed I had, what seed my mom had saved and seed from an extension program that I had signed up for previously. The soil in my beds consisted of whatever I could scrounge up and I actually had a decent crop that year. I've since expanded to nine beds in that garden, three longer beds in a new garden, two raised beds in my backyard, a potato patch and still expanding and will hopefully have the greenhouse operational by spring.
One benefit is having fresh food available 9 months out of the year, which saves lots of dollars at the grocery store and and puts me another step closer to self-reliance.
Another benefit is the peace that gardening brings me. This has been an extremely difficult year as my husband suffered a second heart attack earlier in the year resulting in a stent and pacemaker. Complications from that landed him in the hospital for another two weeks and for a while I wasn't sure he would make it. He's much improved now and scheduled for a minor surgery next week. My daughter has special needs and I'm constantly fighting with the school system to make sure her needs are met. The garden is my salvation and my therapy. I had several days a few weeks ago when my schedule was full but managed to squeeze in 15 minutes of just sitting in my garden just after daybreak and my what a difference that made in my day.