Why I Garden

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About three years ago, I was asked what I like to do for fun.

At the time, the answer seemed inconsequential, but as I thought about my answer, I remember being slightly embarassed.

Truth be told, I had no hobbies.

I had just finished college which had been a four-year journey of full-time studying and a part-time job. My life was a non-stop train of school and work, school and work, lather, rinse, and repeat. I got used to it. There wasn’t much time for anything else. I graduated from a private liberal arts university at the top of my class, but I had no life, and now that everything was coming to a complete stop – school was done and I was looking for a new job – I felt at a loss as to what else there was to life after college.

What are hobbies? What do people do for fun?

This might sound amusing, but for me, it was work to figure this out.

I’ve never been an athletic person, so those pursuits were off the table. In college, I rented a bike and almost hit someone’s car with it (with only my body blocking the way). I’d tried running before, and that was a joke. Money was a very limited resource (I was broke), so anything fun would have to be cheap.

At a party, someone mentioned to me that they gardened, so I was curious. At some point, I asked what would be a good crop for a beginner to grow, and someone said you can’t burn basil.

Fast forward to about a year or so later, and I’m at a gardening class. I tell some very experienced gardeners that you can’t burn basil, and they laugh. Now I know why… you can burn basil. But oh how fun it was.. I have done it.

I garden because it is therapeutic and relaxing. It’s fun to pick out seeds and plan for a new gardening year. It doesn’t cost a lot of money, and I enjoy having a chance at trying to grow my own food. I’m still no expert, but I love taking my chances on what I can plant.

And it does make a pretty good hobby.

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