Monday, March 12, 2012

Why I'm Planning a Big Garden This Year

When we moved into this house in November of 2010, one of the things I was most excited about was having the space for a garden. I could hardly wait to until it was warm enough to plant things, and had Doug out buying a tiller in January.

So last summer was the first garden I had planted in a long time. I started small because I didn't want to get overwhelmed. Basically we just had enough to eat fresh as it got ready.

But this year I am planning to plant a lot more. I want enough to eat fresh all summer and to have lots to can and put in the freezer. Doug asked me the other day what I'm planning to put in the garden this year and I said "Everything." I'm not sure what he thinks about that idea. All he said was "I guess I'd better till up some more ground then." I keep telling him last year was just an experiment so see how things grow here. I guess it was my refresher course.

I know I want a large garden but I found myself asking myself why I want such a large garden. Why do I really want to go to all that work planting, weeding, hoeing, watering, picking, canning and freezing?

I know the reasons for wanting (or not wanting a garden) will vary with each person or family. But here are some  of my reasons for wanting a garden this year.

First, the whole process just simply fascinates me. Working up the soil (or rather, watching Doug work up the soil), smelling the freshly turned earth, letting it run through my fingers. Making rows and putting in the seeds, waiting for the first sprouts, watching the plant grow, blossom and bear fruit. It is just an amazing process and I love it.

Second, it's a learning experience for the kids. There's a lot of life science going on in a garden! Photosynthesis, Pollination, Plant Life Cycles, Insect Life Cycles, Metamorphosis - it's all right there in living color. We can see it, touch it, smell it, and taste it. And if you count the buzz of the insects and the croak of an occasional toad you can hear it too.

It also teaches perseverance and the value of hard work. The weeds need to be pulled, the plants watered and the produce harvested and put up.  Planning and thinking ahead is also important in order to make the best use of garden space.

I believe, that for us, it's a wise use of our resources. We have the land for a garden, we have plenty of people who can help work in it. So why not make the most of these gifts and reap the harvest. I like filling up the freezer with food from the garden. And hopefully this year, I'll also be filling shelves with canned goods.

Another good thing that came out of having a garden last year and I'm looking forward to this year was simply the quality time we had working together as a group. Even those who complained about having to take the time to come work in the garden found themselves enjoying the time together. There was a lot of conversation and laughter as we worked together.

So, these are my reasons for having a garden. Do you have a garden? And if you do, what are some your favorite things about having one?

Our Simple Farm


  1. I love gardening. We have had one the past few years and I have 2 boys who love to help! We love the fresh vegs in the summer and one year my oldest son and my father in law planted several watermelons and sold them at the farmers market. He made enough money to buy him a brand new bike!

  2. We are going for our first garden on our new property,too. It's exciting...hope yours is a wonderful season and a great harvest:)