The average gardener spends $70 and reaps $600 from their vegetable garden. I heard this statistic on our morning news this weekend and it made me think about how much I put into our garden.
I spent $37 on organic heirloom seeds and another $6 on organic heirloom tomato starts. So far, I’m below the average. However, I did already have my Tarheel green bean seed.
As I pondered this, I realized my garden gives me so much more than just produce.
Planting a garden nourishes both body and soul.
For the Body:
Knowing exactly what is and isn’t on your vegetables, priceless. Our pioneer ancestors didn’t need chemicals and pesticides to grow enough food to feed their family for an entire year, and neither do we. I don’t have to worry about what goes into my children’s mouths when we pluck it from our soil, I know it’s only from the hand of the Father.
Produce at its peak with zero cost. I plan meals around what we’re harvesting. My grocery bill goes down considerably during the summer months. It also dips in the winter because I can or freeze anything we don’t consume. Plus, I’m not spending any money on fuel, I simply walk outside to my own store.
Work ethic. My kids enjoy helping in the garden. From the time they could walk, they toddled beside me, helping poke seeds in the dirt or munching on beans and peas. I grew up planting a vegetable garden and I’m thankful for the work ethic it helped instill in me and now my own children.
For the Soul:
Reflection. Being outside in nature, what God made, instead of what man made, makes me appreciate all the things God has done for us.
“or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?” Job 12:8-9
The earth itself knows what God has made. Next time you go out to your garden, take off your shoes and socks (I never wear shoes in the veggie garden), let your toes sink into the soil. Look around and let the earth show you how God cares for us and provides.
Bible Study. I can’t help but remember all of the parables Jesus taught when I’m gardening. From the tiny mustard seed to the rocky soil. I tend my faith as much as my plants when I’m gardening.
Lessons For Your Children. Involving the whole family is not only good for bonding, but a wonderful time to make Jesus alive for your children. Read my post Planting Seeds for Eternity featured on The Better Mom to see how gardening can create a spiritual legacy for your kids.
What’s your favorite thing about gardening? How has it enriched your life beyond simple nutrition
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.