I just want to take a minute and ask: How is your garden doing this year?
Depending on when you’re reading this, you may be in the late spring or early summer when things are hopping and the daily duties in the dirt are demanding.
You may be in full harvest season. Or it may be the dead of winter and you just put in your seed order for next year.
The garden in your soul
So… how is your garden doing right now?
I’m not really talking about the garden in your soil but where your garden is in your soul.
Are you gardening because you really love it and are excited about growing delicious, fresh, healthy food for your family, friends and perhaps even customers?
And you want to do your part to make the world a healthier place for future generations?
Or has it become a bit of a burden, a drudgery, a relentless chore that you wish would go away?
I have certainly felt that way at times, especially at the end of the growing season when all I’m doing is “putting things to bed” for the winter.
I guess the real question is: Where does organic gardening fit in your vision for your life and well-being? How much space have you given it in your heart?
Let’s face it, gardening will always be a lot of work. Some of it physically demanding. Some of it tedious, day-to-day details.
The joy of gardening: and sometimes it’s just pure joy—when you’re harvesting the biggest watermelon you’ve ever seen or you’re simply sitting at the kitchen table with a pile of catalogues figuring out what to plant next year or how to redesign your beds.
But if you’ve lost your vision for why you decided to garden organically and it just seems like manual labor that could be better spent elsewhere, it’s time to take a step back and engage in a little bit of that good old-fashioned self-examination.
Why did you decide to garden organically in the first place? Was it just a fad whose band-wagon you wanted to jump on? Probably not, but if so, that’s not really the greatest reason.
Or do you believe that organic gardening is the only viable way to go?
When you really believe in something and love what you’re doing, you don’t mind the hard work that goes along with it. In fact, the hard work makes it more enjoyable. You know you’re accomplishing something worthwhile.
So here’s my OG 365 Timeless Gardening Tip #22: Stay inspired and remember your original vision for gardening organically.
When you feel the doldrums setting in or the “is-all-this-effort-really-worth-it” suggestions knocking at your mental door, it’s time to refocus.
Here are some things to do to help keep your inspiration and vision for gardening organically in focus:
- Try something new in your garden. Try something wild and crazy in what you plant or how you design your garden or how you solve a problem. Be creative and pull out all the stops.
- Read—books, magazines, blogs, etc. Keep abreast of new gardening ideas, new heirlooms discovered and introduced to the market, the progress of organic gardening and farming in the world.
- Go to a garden show with your camera or a notepad. Take pictures and notes on something new you can try in your garden.
- Take a gardening class. Or teach one. Yes, you can do this. Talk to people. Ask questions. Share your ideas. Stir the pot and see what happens.
- Be a gardening mentor to school kids, young adults, veterans, folks with disabilities, or a new neighbor. When you help others, you are blessed as well and you will surprise yourself with how much you know.
- Find a gardening buddy. You help them in their garden. They help you in yours. It can be a lot more fun working with someone. And you will learn new ideas form each other.
- Get involved in local and state-wide organic gardening/farming organizations. If you want to shoot the moon, get involved on a national level.
Much at stake
There is much more at stake than your personal garden, as important as that is.
The agri-business industry insists that GMOs are okay and that chemical fertilizers are the only way to provide enough food to sustain the world’s growing population.
Are we just going to roll over and plan dead when they say that?
You have made the right decision to grow food organically. You have said “No!” to the poisons and the chemicals. You have chosen to let the soil live. You have said “Yes!” to the health of your family and the future of our planet.
It may seem that your lone little garden isn’t making much of a contribution to the overall picture. But that is not true.
When you think of the growing ranks of millions of organic gardeners and farmers around the world, your seemingly small efforts are not insignificant, but part of a grand whole.
And you are making a valuable contribution to it.
So renew your vision. Rev up your inspiration. Look to the future and be part of it.
Well, I guess I’ll come down off my soapbox for now, but I just can’t help being passionate about the importance of organic gardening. I hope you feel the same way.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share them in the comment section below.
Here’s to the garden in you soul,James Early Organic Gardening 365 Helping you get the most out of your organic garden all year long P. S. For the complete series of OG 365Timeless Gardening Tips, click here.
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