Eva Rodriguez-Greguski is the Executive Director of the non-profit organization, Home Grown Change and is one of the organizers of the annual summer dinner, Island to Table. HomeGrown Change is committed to helping schools and community groups grow their own food and learn about native plants using sustainable methods. You can follow them on Facebook @HomeGrown Change.
Why We Garden
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ~ Margaret Atwood
Gardening is one of the most popular—and addictive—hobbies in America. Everyday millions of people till their own backyard soil, prune roses or harvest their own vegetables. It’s an activity that can be enjoyed by those young and old, and tips and advice are often passed down from generation to generation.
Our organization, HomeGrown Change, works with local groups to help create their own garden spaces. While we show beginners how they can create a beautiful corner in their world, we are also committed to sharing our love of a time-honored tradition with anyone interested in gardening.
There are as many reasons to garden as there are people and here are some of our favorites:
* We garden for STRESS RELIEF and MENTAL HEALTH.
Science has proven that soil contains microbes that help improve our moods and the sights and smells can induce a sense of euphoria. It is an activity that can be done quietly, by oneself, in peaceful surroundings. Or, if you prefer to decompress with sounds, plug in those earbuds and crank up your favorite music.
* We garden to BE CREATIVE.
Are you a frustrated artist? Do you love color and design? Do you yearn for a sense of whimsy? Gardening exercises the mind and stretches the imagination.
* We garden for FITNESS.
Shoveling, planting and mulching can be very hard work. Think of it as a cheaper alternative to the gym. Plus, you have the advantage of being outside in the fresh air and sunshine.
* We garden for GOOD NUTRITION.
Nothing tastes as good as a tomato, picked fresh and still warm from the summer sun. If you toss that tomato with some fresh basil, a cucumber and a thinly sliced onion, add a good local vinegar and olive oil, you have a deliciously healthy homegrown summer salad.
* We garden to STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY.
Gardeners are some of the nicest—and most generous—people you will ever meet. They love to share cuttings, seeds and plants. They provide a social network where they share news with fellow gardeners. They donate excess produce to food pantries and soup kitchens. They beautify neighborhoods. And, they engage complete strangers, work side by side with them and become their friends.
This is why we garden. Pick up a shovel, go outside and get started. Discover your own reasons.