Garden of Good

My husband and I made a major decision last fall – it would impact both the lives of us humans (me and my husband) as well as our 3 dogs. It would take time, dedication on our part and a commitment to making our lives better...we decided to start our own garden.

Posted on | Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD | Comments ()

My husband and I made a major decision last fall – it would impact both the lives of us humans (me and my husband) as well as our 3 dogs. It would take time, dedication on our part and a commitment to making our lives better...we decided to start our own garden.

The project started a few months ago when we bought a composter and started to throw in everything from egg shells to onion skins. I’m told that it will eventually yield rich soil (in like a year or so) – at this point though, it’s just producing lots of flies. We also cornered off a segment of our yard that will be the future home of our healthy garden. It will be fenced off to protect it from the deer and especially, our 3 dogs (did I mention they root around in everything?)

We’re excited to start planting, but before that happens, we have to prepare the soil, put up the fence, etc. It’s a lot of work, some money, and a bit of inconvenience and time. This prompted my husband to ask me the other evening, “Is this really worth it?” The answer is yes – and here’s why. 

First off, gardens grow some of the healthiest morsels of food found in nature, rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. You’ll never find a frozen meal or bag of salty chips in a garden.  These foods are low in calories, fat free and can be used in a variety of dishes.  I know what you’re thinking too – just buy the foods from your local grocery store or farmers market. We could, but we would miss out on the work and time it took to grow our own veggies. The satisfaction I would feel from eating a tomato from my garden could not compare to one I could have bought at my local store. Gardening also takes us back to our ancestry when people harvested their own foods. That took calories and appreciation and because of it, they ate healthier than we do now.

Celebrated author Michael Pollen once said if something came from a plant, to eat it and if it was made in a plant, to skip it. Starting you own garden will help you see the wonders that fruit and vegetables can mean for your life. It’s probably not too late to start your own if you begin today; prepare your soil, go out as a family to determine what you’ll grown and perhaps even purchase the seeds. Make it fun, make it healthy, and in time, you too will appreciate just how incredible mother nature is!

Blog written by Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD
Kristin Kirkpatrick is a registered dietitian and Wellness Manager for Cleveland Clinic’s Lifestyle 180 program. Kristin has...