Quantifying the Joy of Gardening

Courtesy of Roxanne C., Philadelphia PA 

Here at SPIN-Farming we’re seeing an outbreak of green thumbs. Working from home, or not working at all, people  are finding the time and motivation to start food gardens. Whether it’s a bunch of containers out on the deck,  postage size city yards , or suburban yards sprouting vegetable patches, people are finding that growing crops, working outside, being in nature, creating gardens, all spark joy.

The first sighting of seedlings emerging from the soil never ceases to awe even us seasoned SPIN farmers.  Following our bliss down the garden path over the years has led us to discover other rewards that will give both your psyche and finances a lift:

Increasing Property Values
Over the years how many of us created our farms is by weaving together our own yards, our neighbor’s yards and  vacant lots into an intricate pattern of individual rows of exotic greens, radishes, peppers, tomatoes, spinach,  and hundreds of other kinds of vegetables and fruits. This network of microfarms beautifies communities and more desirable neighborhoods. But it also creates more than just a pretty pictures.

Lower Healthcare Costs
The link between the major causes of ill health like heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, and diet is well- established. Whatever health authority you trust – whether it’s the established medical system or wellness experts – the RX from both is eating more fresh vegetables. The more growing and harvesting you do in the garden, the less trips you make to the doctor, and the less you pay for insulin, statins and blood pressure

Free Fitness
While all that planting, weeding, watering and harvesting calms your mind, it gets your body moving. It gets your heart pumping, build up muscles and get purposeful exercise. You can trade your expensive gym memberships for purposeful exercise.

Get Away Every Day
When you have a garden, de-stressing from the frenzy and pace of a tech-driven world does not have to be crammed into a once-a-year 7 day island paradise vacation. An oasis is always just two feet away, no travel hassles, and  no reservations needed. Even if your garden is surrounded by concrete, you can tune into the rhythms of the natural environment so there is no need to escape your daily routine.

Lower Food Bills
Small gardens can be hugely productive. With strategic planting and smart harvesting practices they can be turned into food factories, producing a wide variety of fresh vegetables consistently throughout the year. All it requires is to think, and operate, like a farmer instead of a gardener.

Job Security
Once you start producing more of your own food, it is not a big leap to do it on on a scale that can benefit others as well.  Your garden can grow from a hobby into a business  that is essential, through good times and bad. In creating a job for yourself that’s always in demand you are always in control of your financial destiny. This will have a positive impact that extends far beyond your world.

Changing the World
Changing the world has been the rallying cry for many causes and constituencies, including those looking to reform the food system. If you, and even a small percent of gardeners go pro, you actually could. Let’s take a look.In a 2013 survey done by the National Gardening Association, 42 million households reported growing their own food. Anecdotal evidence from seed companies, garden centers and Google searches is that this number is increasing due to the pandemic. But let’s use the 2013 number as a baseline. Let’s say an infinitesimal number of them decide to grow food as their livelihood, .5%. That would mean 210,000 new farmers.

The farm reform movement has been working to change the food system for over a quarter century. While their efforts have focused on major policy changes and government support, the number of farmers has been steadily declining. What’s now holding back progress towards the kind of sustainable/regenerative/organic food system that more and more consumers are saying they want is a lack of producers. So while the gardening path hasn’t been the traditional route to a farming career, you’re on it,  if you start looking at your gardening  through the eyes of a SPIN farmer. And together with us, you really can change the world. You in?



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