Why do you garden?

This spring, while we were building our new raised garden bed, a neighbor stopped by and had an annoying conversation with me. "So that's what you're building. I get it now. Well, I guess some people do have to grow their own food to save money."

That was the gist of the conversation. I didn't say much. I was covered from head-to-toe in mud, sweat and tears. I had no time to hold a conversation and after his elitist comment, I had no interest in ever speaking to him again.

The truth is, I don't garden to save money. In fact, I probably don't even save very much money gardening. I garden because I like it and I grow all of the foods I like to eat in excess.

It's a fun, sometimes stressful, always changing hobby. It keeps me active and outside. And there was that part of about eating in excess.....

There are a few foods that I would buy and eat every day. Every day. They are as follows: Berries, Tomatoes, Berries, Swiss Chard, Spinach, and Berries! And if you look at my garden posts, you will see that most of what I grow is berries, tomatoes, and greens (like swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, basil, etc.)

During the summer months, I pick and eat them every single day. Check out the black raspberries we picked today. The blueberries never make it into the house....

I also grow my "second" fave foods like cucumbers, asparagus, zucchini. If global warming makes its way up here, I'll be growing peaches and cherries too! That's a little growing zone/environmental doom humor for you.

Look at this yummy Bruschetta I made with fresh Basil from our garden....
Don't even get me started on pesto....

All of the seeds, dirt, compost, fertilizer, fences, stakes, nets, pruners, seedlings, etc cost money. Sometimes, a lot of money. But I am here to tell you that if you have ever picked fresh basil right from your garden, sent your kids out to eat berries from their own bushes, or bit into a real vine ripened tomato...you'd become a gardener too.

So I want to set the record straight - I do NOT garden to save money. If I really wanted to, I could shop at Whole Foods for all of my groceries. Or I could join an all inclusive CSA. Or I could eat out at gourmet restaurants for all my meals.

Quality whole food is excessively important to me - it just so happens that I like growing it myself. Knowing what went into each plant, picking it at peak ripeness, enjoying time outside, eating food as fresh and alive as possible. That's what it's all about.

With that,I leave you with my newest garden adventure: Getting my cultivated grapes to be as successful as the wild grapes. So far, this has been quite the exercise in patience.

3 years and no grapes from this bubby - But she is sporting a  new $30 trellis and newly weeded growing space. 4th year's the charm?

This grape vine is on it's second year and has grown better than the other. Last year it had a few grapes that were quickly swooped up by birds. This year was a goose egg. This vine is also sporting a new $30 trellis. I had dreams that they would climb the trees like the wild grapes do, but they refused.


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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!


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