The Benefits of Gardening

As I ate the last of the fresh produce that came out of my garden for lunch today it struck me that the value I got out of gardening this year has little to do with the edible output. The fun and challenge would be one of the intangible values. However, the knowledge and everything that comes with it probably outpaces that by far, at least for me.

For example as I ate today I marveled at the taste of the peppers in a way that I just wouldn’t have otherwise. The dirt, water, and sun combined with biological processes to produce something nutritious, colorful and spicy. It is truly amazing! Yet it is something that is so easy to miss when you aren’t involved with it as intimately as gardening forces you to be.

Then there is the sense of confidence that comes with the knowledge. I am not anywhere close to being able to feed myself, much less my family, but I am closer than I was; close enough that I feel like if I really wanted to I might be able to.  It is difficult to articulate, but there is something very liberating in that.

Gardening turns out to be yet another case among many that I have been noticing lately where thinking in terms of typical pragmatics fails – typical pragmatics being concerned with efficiency and measurable results. Life is more multidimensional. It exceeds the measurable environment it takes place in. That’s worth keeping in mind I think.