How can gardening be powerful?
Anyone who has ever gardened knows how rewarding it is to care for plants. Besides the joys of seeing your own flowers and vegetables thrive, gardening is also a powerful opportunity to exercise patience, care, and connection.
Waiting for plants to grow and fruits to ripen can be dull at the beginning of the season, it requires a lot of patience. Within a few weeks, depending on what vegetables you have in your garden, comes the most exhilarating time: harvest! As you harvest your vegetables, all that patience needed in the early season is rewarded.
In taking care of a garden, we learn another invaluable lesson with nature: how to be nurturing. It is by watching the plants grow and the relationships they establish with the multiple garden visitors that we learn to care more selflessly. We understand that some qualities of a garden, or how successful the harvest will be, might be beyond our reach, but we still care for our plants wholeheartedly.
A garden is also powerful because it can connect you to multiple people, natural elements, from animals and plants to weather patterns, and can be an avenue for a better connection with oneself. Many times, when gardening, we are deeply immersed in our own thoughts, no matter if we are gardening on our own or with peers. The soothing environment of a garden is a great place to reflect on our choices and behaviours. Furthermore, sharing some of our harvest with friends and other gardeners reinforces existing connections.
"The food on the table connects with the local weather patterns that summer, with the neighbour who introduced you to that particular variety of pole bean and even shared the seed, with the backyard bees that pollinated the fruit, with the neighbourhood kids who pilfered the apples, with the army of earwigs you got drunk daily with beer traps – such food carries stories with it"
Lorraine Johnson, The Gardener's Manifesto, p.112
Besides being important when gardening, patience, care, and connection are core elements to healthy community relationships. To learn more about community gardens and the different forms they can take, watch our video What is Urban Agriculture?