Monday, April 2, 2012

Gardening in Hard Times

I'm slowly reading a book by Carol Deppe called The Resilient Gardener. The long short of it is that she discusses gardening with challenges.

I think this is a valuable read because most garden books address what to do, but not really from the viewpoint of gardening with health problems, financial problems, erratic weather, etc. It's funny, but a lot of people I know stop gardening when life presents challenges. They see gardening as a hobby. When life throws them a lemon, they don't drink that cold lemonade in the garden. Plus, the grocery store is pretty convenient. Maybe folks lack the time, lack money, or get frustrated because of a physical barrier (back, knees, you get the point). As I read this book however, I think that hard times are a great time to embrace gardening- not run away.

I'm gardening in hard times right now. I am the sole caretaker of a cancer patient. Gardening gives me a break from all the emotional, spiritual, and physical hardships I am going through. Gardening helps me experience life bursting forth in contrast to experiencing so much illness and death each week at the hospital. I am also making less money because I work less, but gardening is going to provide organic vegetables that I might not otherwise afford myself. In short, gardening for me is not just about relying more on myself, unplugging from the "grid", or getting in touch with nature. Gardening for me is a necessary part of life- in good times and bad. I hope it is for you too.


  1. I'm in the gardening with low income category, but I actually see my gardening as an investment. I think growing my own food will pay off.

  2. Agreed. It's possible to coax some great food out of a little soil for very little $ investment. I think the convenience factor of big box grocers and cheap commodity foods tricks some people into seeing gardening as something to do in good times. But gardening encourages healthy bodies and minds (see post about dirt and depression).

  3. I'm in the physical barrier category - but can't give up gardening. We've just adjusted our garden by making raised beds. Being outside in my garden is an important part of keeping depression in check.

  4. Me too. I can't say how many times I've gone into the garden angry or upset only to leave feeling refreshed and ready to face the world. And I managed a 4.0 in my Algebra classes (my worst subject) because I actually studied in the garden. I just plopped right down with my book and did my homework right there.