We are all farmers at heart. Well, most of us, anyway! There is something calming, soothing, about putting your hands in the dirt. There is something divine in planting a seed, tending it carefully, watching it grow into a beautiful flower, tree, bush, vegetable or flower. You are participating in God’s gift of creation. Organic gardening offers the emotional satisfaction, the peace and joy, of bringing beauty and bounty forth from some dirt, water and seed.
When you garden without harmful chemicals, you know that what you produce is adding to the environment, not depleting it. If you grow food, you know it is healthy without harmful chemicals sprayed on or inside that food. That experience makes organic gardening rewarding and satisfying. If you are not already an organic gardener, I encourage you to give it a try.
Stress fills our lives, everything is fast paced — it must be done now, now, now! Taking time out to BE with nature, to slow down, brings a renewal of spirit. It feeds the soul. Organic gardening takes work, which gives the added benefit of exercising our bodies as well as our spirit. Plants breath in carbon dioxide and breath out oxygen, enriching us and our earth.
Organic gardening can include landscaping in your yard. Organic gardening can be rewarding even in apartments and limited space with container growing. It is year around recreation and sport, a hobby with benefits. You can bring a great life experience to your children or your grandchildren, by sharing the wonders of nature, of growth cycles, of watching a tiny flower seed create a beautiful flower. Or you can share the wonder of a tiny tomato seed growing into a huge green forest loaded with yummy tomatoes.
Several years back I started a group on organic landscaping, gardening, fish and ponds on LinkedIn to share ideas and knowledge with other gardeners. It has grown to over 3000 members from all over the world including colleges, gardening and landscaping businesses, and other regular home gardeners like me. It has truly been an enriching experience, sharing ideas, tips, and knowledge with so many climates and cultures.
You will find yourself getting into studying the ins and outs of organic gardening. It is an amazingly interesting study to see what grows in your zone and what plants benefit each other or what plants positively dislike each other. It is thrilling to see how a little tiny elderberry bush can grow into a thriving berry giving bush in just one year, or how blueberry plants give you tasty berries to eat and gorgeous changing colors every season.
One of my favorite parts is searching through the wonderful seed catalogs in the midst of winter, pouring over the multitude of possible choices, plotting and planning is your winter agenda as you wait for the first signs of Spring.
You can order or buy containers and planters, order your seeds or get your list ready for the spring. Look at your available space to plot your garden or where to put those new fruiting trees or bushes. It is relaxing and fun. Go to estate sales in your area in the offseason to find pretty planters and containers that are usually downright cheap.
Early spring is so much fun, ordering the seeds you spent time selecting, pouring over all the small plant possibilities at local shops and visualizing your end product. You will definitely want to stock up on ‘companion plants,’ which are natural bug repellents including flowers that attract and repel bugs. Marigolds are a must-have. They are beneficial in so many ways as well as beautiful color for your garden.
Summer is for tending your plants, watching them grow and thrive. Keeping them fed, watered and as bug-free as possible. Chemical-free means allowing for a bitten leaf or two. It’s OK, and natural. Bees and butterflies will feel welcome to pollinate your plants.
Take time to delve into not only beneficial plants that repel the bugs, but also the home-remedies available to repel them. A dish-soap-and-water spray, or garlic-water spray, as well as natural organic sprays you can purchase. Soon you will be eating fresh salads from your own lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, and tomatoes.
Autumn is for reaping the bounty of what you have grown. You may find yourself wanting to make some jams, jellies or pickles. Canning is a whole other adventure for preserving that wonderful organic food to eat all winter into the next years. Late fall is for cleaning up, composting, covering tender plants you still want to grow a while and getting the soil ready to sleep and recover.
Whether you choose to grow a couple of containers or take part of your backyard for gardening — get out there, get your hands in the dirt, breath deep of the air and smells around you. Take a moment to focus on a tree, a flower. Watch. See what happens as you focus. That plant or tree will immediately give you back more intense colors! We just don’t take enough time to really see the beauty around us. Take the time to feed your soul, your spirit. Take an active role in the natural beauty around you and that you can create. You will not be sorry!