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Gardening is cheaper than therapy


May 7, 2012
Billie Shelton , The Daily Freeman Journal

So we are finally into what's probably my favorite season of the year: when I can garden and garage sale again. I've gotten a start at both, but I think it's too early to predict if either will be terribly successful year.

Yet hope springs eternal.

So far, the ground where the garden is has been tilled, thanks to my husband. First I planted onions, then some radishes. And that's the sum of what's in the ground. Already I find myself trying to find time to spend in the garden, working around rain, wind, and other commitments as I catch myself thinking "Okay, there's 20 minutes before I have to leave. If I hurry, I can get a row of radishes planted."

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It's not a leisurely endeavor, and I don't really understand how I got here already. I don't even have the garden planted yet, and here I am trying to find ways to fit it into my days. I'm afraid I may be like so many others in our hurry-up, microwave, give-it-to-me-now culture where we are all too often playing beat the clock when we should be able to appreciate the moment for what it is.

I want to be the mother earth type, happily digging in the dirt as the plants in my garden flourish and produce. But instead, so many times I'm rushing around trying to make the most of my marginal minutes to plant and weed and feed and-hopefully, eventually-harvest the bounty.

Maybe this season one of my goals should be to harvest more patience along with the produce that grows. If we didn't have a garden I know I would miss it. It's a nice way to spend time outdoors. Gardening is always a challenge to me, yet rewarding as well.

Of course, the vegetables we grow in the garden always taste much better than what we buy fresh or frozen. And I just like to be able to nonchalantly remark that "Oh, yes, this tomato (or green beans or peas or cucumber) came from our garden." It's the Mother Earth thing coming up again.

Growing one's own food is not only better, it's more economical, too. Look what deliciousness you can get just from investing some time, some elbow grease, and maybe a few prayers that it will all grow and flourish.

Perhaps that prayer angle is what I need from a garden most of all: a chance to reflect on my blessings and on the needs of those I care about. Besides, as I read somewhere, "Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes."



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