Do you LIKE gardening?
I'll admit it - not entirely (someimes I even loath it!)
I've not admitted this to my fellow community gardeners who plan and nuture and blog about their plots. They can be a bit strange . . . they even have their own 'gardenhound' like sites! I'd get run off the land.
But I do love the food it produces. And that's why I tend my garden in the rain and the dead heat and humidity of summer. And spends hours serving, cooking, and preserving the results.
So do you garden for gardening's sake or for a chow's bounty?
>>So do you garden for gardening's sake or for a chow's bounty?<<
Yes and yes.
It's a pain in the butt in the beginning to level the place, hoe the rows, make the beds -- but it's working out in the fresh air 'til past dark, turning on the headlights to see what you're doing, and hoping that rustle in the bushes is a deer or a turkey and not that bear that was sighted nearby -- or worse, a skunk.
Even the hard part of gardening is fun, but the rewards are so worth it -- tomatoes that taste like tomatoes; carving our own pumpkins for Halloween; not having to buy potatoes from October through April or so; broccoli and green beans through December (via the freezer); and stuffed cabbage up the wazoo.
I may curse like a sailor during the early going, but it is worth the work, which makes the work fun. Even if I can't walk right for a few days.
for the food...there is nothing more satisfying then planting a seed, watching it grow and eat the rewards. plus knowing exactly what my growing conditions are and having 'cheap' organic produce. the health rewards are amazing when you look at how depleted our commercially farmed soil is.
if I was just gardening flowers...they would most likely die. I have to really get a reward for my labour.
that being said, as I am doing the harder labour, digging, tilling, then later sowing, it is very rewarding to feel like you worked hard during the day in the sun.
"stuffed cabbage up the wazoo. "
That doesn't sound right...
But anyway, at this point, more for the result then the process. Things that are hard or expensive to buy just right. Like apicots,sugar snaps, figs, red peppers, specialty garlic. Now that it's easy to get heirloom tomatoes, pluots, shallots, fava beans from my CSA, or at the farmers market, doesn't seem worth growing them anymore. I used to love it more, but I think I let it get too big. And by May, it's usually hit triple digits, and is close to that for the next 6 mos, with no rain, so fall and winter gardens are WAY more fun.
I love yard work, not only my garden but tons of plants and ornamental, I have cacti, at my house before I sold it I had mango, avacado and several fruit trees, lots of veggies, first because I love working in the yard and second because what it produces. I would rather work out in the yard even in 95 degrees then inside doing laundry or cleaning. I am an outdoor gal and love using more smoker, grill, yard work, etc. I love cooking but don't have much time, but enjoy it when I get the chance. But still refuse to spend hours cooking something when I can get the same results in 1/3 the time. If I want fish, I fish not buy it, that is if I can. Fruit and veggies local markets, not a speciality store. I try to make the best with what I can afford, what I have time for and what I enjoy.
Gardening is relaxing for me. Many times at 5am, I am on my porch taking care of my plants or in the front. My small greenhouse has some fresh summer veggies and 3 hanging tomatoes which are abundantly producing right now. I love them.
Love it when I'm in the mood, not consistently. A day outside in the dirt, working really hard and getting alot done is relaxing and very satisfying. It really does clear my head. Of course the harvest is a wonderful treat. BUT I never seem to stick with it all season. Some of the beds get too weedy, things don't get watered, etc. The stuff that's close to the house gets the best treatment. Out of sight, out of mind can be the sad truth here.
I am a very minor gardener - a 15'X15' plot at our cabin (tomatoes, bush beans, peppers, kale, etc.), and some herbs and lettuce in window boxes on the apartment balcony. But I love it, and not just for the results, which are...undependable. I like taking care of the plants. I feel there's something sort of miraculous about seeds sprouting and growing and producing food, just because I stuck them in the ground. But if I actually had to subsist on what I can grow, I'd be dead. It's about the process (sez the girl with easy access to Whole Foods & Fresh Direct).
well, I started out with just a teeny veggie garden growing nothing but herbs and lettuce but as the years have passed it's gotten bigger and bigger and is filled with a larger variety of plants. I'm not an obsessive ornamental gardener but do like to grow things that are beautiful and beneficial - basil has the most amazing flowers and brings in a ton of bees, carrots when left to flower attract hordes of beneficial insects, nasturtiums add a peppery bite to salad and are great for filling in gaps. I could talk for hours about the different varieties of tomatoes I'm trying this year and how I expect them to affect the salsa and tomatoe sauce I'll be preserving later in the season, and I'm a regular participant in a couple of those *gardenhound* sites.
I guess I like to garden with a purpose. I plant with a view to growing as much as the family can eat, and bringing in the bees, butterflies and birds. My perfect day ends with me wandering the garden, glass of wine in hand, checking things over, filling the bird feeder and then sitting back for a while to take it all in. My perfect meal is harvesting some salad greens & herbs, picking a couple of ripe tomatoes, buttering a slice of homemade bread and chowing down on something meaty hot off the grill. Absolute bliss.
Lots of boards available to browse and post, the plantfiles are great for looking up plants, an annual subscription of $20 will open up many, many more boards.
You probably know about Gardenweb, but I'll put it here anyway.
One day I hope to visit River Cottage and take part in their charcuturie course.
Great gardening blog.