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Happy Earth Day!
I love gardening, even though I have not been very successful with it. Our home is in the forested mountains near Sundance, Utah. Sunny space on our lot is limited so, I attempt to grow things using the Square Foot Garden method. There are lots of reasons gardening in my location is a bad idea.
1. Cold – at roughly 7,000 feet elevation and with a ski resort as a neighbor you can imagine how our winters are – long, snowy and cold. We get heavy snowstorms well into March and even through the summer the temperature drops below sixty degrees in the evenings.
2. Animals – I hear the sounds of wild turkeys on a daily basis. Deer, rabbits, blue jays, squirrels, robins, and countless other unseen creatures live in the woods around our home, and they’re all hungry.
3. Effort – Any gardener knows that growing things takes effort. My fifty percent success rate in years past, meant that after weeks of watering, weeding, and mulching, only half of what I planted actually grows to fruition.
And yet, even with this obstacles in my way, every spring I get excited to put seeds into dirt and watch them grow. The weather warms, the birds start chirping and something in my brain convinces me to get my hands dirty once again.
I’m not the only one. Big E loves to help me plant, watch the seeds progress and water the garden. He’ll look at the indoor starts every morning and report back with glee, “Mom! The tomato seeds sprouted!” or “Look! Broccoli!”
Perhaps his joy rubs off on my as well, because in addition to the pleasure of feeling the sun on my skin, accomplishing difficult tasks, and watching plants grow, I also get to watch my son and daughter grow. Respecting the earth is one lesson I want my kids to learn and planting a garden has been a great way for them to learn it.
When I plant a garden I’m growing more than just flowers and vegetables. I’m growing a love of nature in my children, smiles on their faces and joy in the fascination of life. And suddenly all the work is worth it.