I was navigating my way through the garden section when suddenly I hear someone scream down the aisle, “Geo! You have a green thumb?”
I look up to see my ol’ soccer buddy and reply, “If throwing seeds in some dirt qualifies, then yes I do!” My teammate wasn’t the only one to question my abilities. Here are some other comments that were made upon hearing the news I was going to start a garden:
“When are you going to have time for that?”
“Why would you do that?”
“What do you know about gardening?”
“How are you going to take care of it?”
Hmmm, thanks for the support people! Needless to say, I had a bit of anxiety going into this and my poor husband got the brunt of all of it. What’s funny about this is when we moved into our house 8 years ago, there were 3 beautiful raised bed gardens waiting for us in our backyard. I looked at them and immediately said, “Those are definitely going!” Why, you ask? Well, I was NOT a gardener, nor was I in a place in life where I cared about what I put in my body.
Fast forward to present day and food has become an instrumental part of my journey. Through food, I have found health, happiness, and connection. I used to survive on medications and processed foods. I now thrive on food from the earth. So to answer your questions of why I would garden, that is why. I can put $300/month towards medications or food and the later has served me well as I have scored 100% on my health risk assessment that past 3 years.
I have a purpose to fulfill and to do that I need to fuel and nourish my body and teach my children to as well. When will I have time? I will make time because my health is important to me. How am I going to take care of it? I am going to tend to it like I tend to my own body? I will feed it and give it what it needs and if something doesn’t work out than I will learn to do differently just like I do in my own life.
It has taken me awhile to get to this point. But thankfully with the help of some very supportive people and following my heart, we now have a beautiful garden that has already brought so much joy in just a short amount of time. If you want to grow a garden, there is only one way to do it – your way.
Here are some things I would like to share:
- Research, but not too much – Don’t create confusion and chaos by obsessively researching. Here’s the deal. Remember what happened in science class when you planted a seed in some dirt and gave it some sun and water? It grew! And if it didn’t, you probably forgot to water it or put it in the sun. So you learn and adjust. Same applies here. Yes, there are methods that may be more effective and things to think about but trust me, it will all be okay and nothing to stress about it. I have already stressed enough for you!
- Other People’s Opinions Aren’t Yours – You are going to get advice and opinions but remember, if it doesn’t sit well with you, let it go. If it is a tip that feels good, keep it and let it guide you. The only person that knows you is you. Always go back to who you are and what works for you and what YOU want.
- Select a Select Few – Be picky when choosing your advice-givers. I suggest picking people that are incredibly passionate about gardening and love sharing their knowledge. If it brings them joy, trust me, they want to share it and it will get you excited about it. I would never have done this without the help and encouragement from my friend Natasha. She and her husband helped build our garden and their energy was infectious. Even when you go to the store, be careful who you ask for help. If the clerk is crabby or may not have the knowledge, this will effect your experience. I went through 3 different helpers until I found the amazing Brittany! I tried to box her up and take her home. When my husband and I got to the store we were crabby and fighting and after our experience with Brittany, we were ready to take on the world of gardening!
- Start Simple – You don’t need to build a massive garden. Maybe start with some pots on your porch to see if you like it. It is very easy to get excited and go overboard. I used an app to help plan our garden and while scrolling through the plants I was like, “We can grow this! And this! And how about this?!” A lot of the things I was selecting I didn’t even eat! Make a list of things you and your family eat and only choose a few from the list that are easy to grow and make sense for you.
Hers are some photos of my family and I building our food garden…
We have had our garden for one day, and this is what has happened already:
- We are motivated and feel accomplished – At this point, I don’t even care if anything grows, I already feel great about it. It looks amazing, feels amazing, and I am looking forward to what’s to come! Imagine what we will feel like when we eat something that we planted and grew ourselves!
- We are connected – The garden helped us connect as a couple, a family, and as a community. Good friends pitched in and shared their knowledge. Neighbors gave us leftover seeds and supplies. The store workers were kind and helpful. My husband and I fought and made up and are closer because of it. The kids helped dig, plant, and label. I am amazed by the connection that happened.
- I am more aware and appreciative – An interesting thing happened with the garden that I never expected. I am more aware of my surroundings and appreciative of nature. I take notice of the sun and appreciate the rain that will fall this week. I am “in” my yard and feel like I am experiencing the world in a different way. It feels spiritual and empowering.
- I feel smarter and eager – My brain feels like it has been turned on again. I love learning, especially by doing. Its almost like I am in school again. This feeling is awesome and my kids are feeling the same way.
- I feel balance – The garden has brought an amazing balance to the busy, tech-filled world we live in. It’s slowing me down and grounding me so I can return to the world feeling recharged!
Some more photos of our garden! I’ve added some food garden inspiration to a Pinterest board also – be sure to check it out!
For more simple tips on making your life healthier and happier every week – join Study Break sessions – each week you’ll receive a video from Brad and I plus homework to keep you accountable! Learn more here : ) – you’ll also get a two week free trial!