Saturday, April 30, 2016

seven reasons everyone needs a garden

this post is sponsored by the lovely people at cvs minute clinic. the thoughts and opinions are all our own.

i love the spring. each march (sometimes even end of february if i'm lucky here in the south) i emerge from my wintery cocoon and venture out into the great outdoors. i'm not going to lie, the sun can be blinding the first two times but that fresh air quickly becomes addicting and i've learned that i'm a better person for each minute i spend outside the walls of a building. 




over time i've learned there are many benefits to having my own little garden (or a big one as mine has grown to be.) the benefits are endless and are certainly not limited to these seven but maybe, just maybe these will give you enough reason to venture out to plant something of your own.



seven reasons everyone needs a garden




1) it gives you some measure of success every spring.

let's be honest. parenthood sometimes feels like running on a hamster wheel. life can feel like that too. there is always more laundry, always more dishes to wash, faces to clean, meals to prepare. each day brings more work than the next and, let's be real, it can be weeks before we see success in some areas. i know with my own kids i some days have to search for those nuggets in them that show that i parented well. not so with a garden. if you plant it and water it, it will usually grow. each day i walk out to my garden, i really wish there was someone next to me to high five because, "look what i did!" is so much more effective when said out loud to a human. as it is, i share my excitement with the furry woodland creatures nearby and carry my head a little higher as i walk back to the house. a little bit of success every day feels amazing.



2) it's good to have fresh produce.

fruits, veggies and herbs can be expensive. here in the south a bell pepper...one bell pepper can cost one to two dollars...each. it's ridiculous. i plant a ton of bell peppers and each plant will produce from may through october. they also freeze beautifully. think of some fruits and veggies that your family will eat and find a way to grow them. the money it saves adds up very quickly.



3) it's important to remember that food doesn't come from a grocery store. 

let's face it, many of our kids don't realize this. "what? this hamburger is from a ground up cow?" yes, babies, it is. and it's delicious. "what? apples don't come off the tree shiny?" nope, that's just wax added to them to make them appealing. all of those fine life lessons are important to learn for kids, and important for adults to remember as well. 



4) kids are magical outdoors.

when i step outside, my entire clan of children follow...and they love it. they are happiest when they are running around, digging holes, playing tag, and doing cartwheels in the grass. some days i make them work with me. on those days they plant and weed and water with the best of them. they actually love it and are the happiest harvesters you'll ever find. there is serious joy in picking plants off of a tree or a bush. serious joy. other days they just play and have the time of their lives. we have become a society with a lot of sedentary, computer screen addicted children. don't get me wrong, my kids have screen time like others do. i just find that they are a thousand times happier when i pull them away from the screen and into the sun. on top of that, it reminds me of my own childhood and that makes me very, very happy. 


5) gardening teaches everyone patience.

some things are worth the wait. this is reinforced everyday with gardening. some trees take years to produce fruit after planting. all plants take time to mature before they can produce whatever it is they are supposed to produce, from flowers to fruit to vegetables. it is a great life lesson to learn that things take time. maturity doesn't happen in a day. growth doesn't happen overnight. if my kids (and i) can learn that through gardening, then that's a successful day.



6) it's teaches that if you want something to thrive, you have to take care of it.

gardens require work. plants need water, fertilizer, to be free from weeds. this life lesson goes way beyond the soil. whatever it is that my children are caring for, it's important to know that with the proper care, it can become all it was meant to be. without proper care, it will probably die. this lesson translates to pets, relationships, marriages, jobs, the list is endless. 



7) you learn to push through things that may be uncomfortable.

spring and summers in the south can be hot...and ridiculously humid. gardening can be labor intensive. my kids and i all have allergies. a garden means that sometimes we have to push through things that aren't comfortable in order for it to be successful. thankfully, where our allergies are concerned, we don't have to suffer alone. when our symptoms are at their worst, and we are suffering with itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, wheezing and coughing, we know just where to go. our local target now has a cvs minute clinic in. the. store. stop it. now i can get a starbucks, groceries for my family and stop by the minute clinic to get my allergies under control. the nurse practitioner or physician's assistant can prescribe or recommend the best treatment for me and my kiddos to get our allergies maintained. our nurse practitioner knows us so well that she even has little treats for my kids when they come by. they are actually excited to go see her and she will send the prescriptions right over to the cvs pharmacy inside the target store as well. it's my one stop health and shopping errand rolled into one outing and it means we are quickly back on our way. with the help of cvs minute clinic nothing stops us from getting everything we can from our outdoor gardening experience. it doesn't get any better than that. 




no matter the size of your garden, or even the purpose, getting outside is always a good idea. i'm learning something new every year when springtime rolls around and my children are learning as well. through the good and the bad, we have come to understand so many life lessons through our garden. if you are a beginner, consider starting small. you may surprise yourself with how much you enjoy it. if you are an enthusiast, what have you learned from gardening? no matter where you are in the process, take some time to get outdoors. i doubt you'll regret it.