Thinking about moving back home has made me think of the things that I want to be able to do and one of those things is to have a nice little garden to grow some fruit, vegetables, and maybe a handful of flowers. As I was thinking about my future garden, I have also been thinking about the reasons that I want to grow my own food.
There are a whole bunch of standard reasons to grow your own food, such as:
- To save money.
- To have fresher vegetables.
- To get outdoors into the fresh air.
But, honestly, most of those are not the reasons that I want to garden. While I enjoy fresh vegetables and love the outdoors, they are not the things that make we want to garden. Additionally, gardening will not necessarily save a family money on vegetables. For me, there are two reasons that I want to garden. First, I enjoy the process and challenge. Even today, there is something magical about planting a seed, watching it grow, and being able to harvest a crop. I guess that I am just fascinated by the circle of life! More importantly to me, I want to grow things that are different – heirloom varieties, specialty crops, and interesting things. Produce that you would not find at your local grocery store, local farm shop, or even in a normal seed catalog!
There is a whole world of heirloom tomatoes, carrots (in purple, yellow, & white), and dozens of specialty potato varieties. Besides all of the specialty dealers and seed networks, historical sites – like Colonial Williamsburg’s Nursery & Monticello – have developed their gardens and sell period-appropriate plants and seeds. This means that it has become really easy to find and grow things that are not available through the standard seed trade or that you could find at the local home improvement store.
Now, all I need is a good patch of land …