hanging up my garden gloves


growing romaine

Time and time again I read about the “benefits of gardening”, and as much as I am convinced this is so, I wanted to share a different take on the movement….

I have “attempted to enjoy gardening” for years, but it seems it is not for everyone. I am dedicated to the outdoors, nature and all it has to offer and prepare my meals and eat / spend time outdoors daily. But gardening….nyet. After years of work with community gardens and CSA’s, I am finally comfortable to admit it. What finally clenched my efforts happened while clearing a community garden plot: it was hot and muggy, and I was pulling weeds. I don’t have a problem with weeds, but it seems like everyone else in the community was *bothered* by a messy gardener, so I got to work. A yank here and a snatch there, and you’d think that’s all there is to it? Not so! I pulled out a handful and suddenly heard the shrill from what I thought was a new bird not heard before. High pitched and loud, I looked overhead, and couldn’t spot anything. And then I heard it again – an awful screech. I looked down, and there it was – a litter of baby field mice. I must’ve torn their nest apart and mother was gone. It was awful; the most terrifying tiny screaming I could ever imagine. I was crushed. Was it really that important for me to tear up this land for a silly tomato or squash? I could buy this from a local farmer’s market. Here I was destroying the habitat of wildlife – for what? I am killing little lives for a couple of vegetables. I had enough. Our local farmer has been growing on the same land for years; the wildlife knows the routine, and there are plenty of surrounding forests / land to escape to. But here, between schools and houses, the only place to run are the streets… Gardening? Nice for some, but it’s really not the panacea (for everyone) it is made out to be……

Additional reads:

How Dirt Can Make You Happy

Is Dirt the New Prozac?

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