In her good reflective article, What gardening can do for us, Toronto-based garden writer Gayla Trail (yougrowgirl.com) declares that "Growing food transforms us into producers – something we desperately need in a passive consumer culture where we have become an audience watching life rather than producers making it. Growing food provides a connection to and an understanding of where our food comes from. It schools us in what food looks like when it comes out of the ground or off of the vine, with all of its shapes, flaws, beauty, and flavor. The work involved in growing our own food provides first-hand knowledge of the labour that goes into growing it and teaches us not to take it or the work that farmers do for granted. It transforms our expectations and turns us into educated consumers who know the value of good, well-grown produce."
I encourage you to read Gayla's full article. She also explores the effects of gardening on creativity, on being more aware, on connecting to the earth, and on connecting to the child within. These are values I seek in my gardening life too.
I do believe gardening transforms us in many ways, including into healthier people. When I work in my garden, I feel more connected to the weather, to the shape and structure of plants, and their needs as they bloom and mature. I come to know once again the good work of coaxing food from the ground, the reward of nurturing flowers into beautiful bloom.
I agree with Gayla when she says, "No matter what goes on in my life and no matter how off-balanced and alienated I may feel, stepping into the garden brings me back to centre, back to myself, and back to that sense of connectedness to nature, the processes of life, and the greater world beyond."