I have never had much of a green thumb. I’ve had my share of sad, neglected houseplants over the years. I even killed a cactus.
But for the past five years, I’ve had a small vegetable garden. It’s nothing spectacular, and certainly, some years have gone better than others, yet I still keep trying.
You might wonder why I still garden even though I’m lousy at it. Sometimes I wonder that, too.
I’ve come to realize that gardening is a lot like trying to improve your personal finances.
You start with nothing but dirt. You try small things first and when those work well, you try bigger things. You remain optimistic, yet prepare for whatever may come your way. You use all of the resources in your community to learn what you can. You make mistakes. You learn from them. And you grow.
Each year I’ve had a garden, I’ve learned from it. I’ve learned that little plants become big plants that will overshadow the smaller neighboring plants. I’ve learned how to handle pests. I’ve learned that if my husband was not an equal partner in this, my garden would not get watered as often as it should. I’ve learned that my terrier will dig in the garden if she even suspects a rodent is near it. I’ve learned that planting from seed requires much more patience, but saves so much money.
I’ve learned that my kids are more willing to try vegetables grown in our backyard. I’ve learned that my friends, family, and the internet all have a wealth of knowledge and are more than willing to offer help when it comes to gardening and preservation questions. I have learned that it is okay to make mistakes because mistakes help you learn.
And I’ve learned that that the food I grow… even if it is in small amounts…. even if it is imperfect…. tastes amazing to me.
It is empowering to know that you can grow your own food and preserve it for the long winter months. It is empowering to know that with just a little effort, you can provide for your family. It is empowering to know exactly what went into growing your food and to know that it was done inexpensively.
That is why I continue to garden even though I’m lousy at it. And I will continue to garden because I believe that the only way I can improve is by continuing to try.
I feel that way about personal finance, too. I must continue to try – in ways both big and small – to do my best and to learn all I can. That is how I help my money grow, too.
Patrick Garmoe says
You left out an important part Christina. Your growing season is so much shorter. That makes it all the tougher to reap rewards. I’ve long toyed with the idea of starting a garden. Thanks for this post. You’ve certainly nudged me a little closer to starting one.
Patricia Desrosiers says
We use a drip watering system so each plant can get just what it needs (and save water in this drought). Something I learned the hard way-buy everything from the same store (chain)!!! The first year I bought supplies wherever they were on sale. Turns out different manufacturer’s parts don’t go together. 1/4th inch on one product was outside dimensions, on another it was inside. And products cut off a roll (sold by the foot) are not returnable. I think you’re doing great in your efforts! Hope this helps.
Pyper B. says
Great post! I am the same way, we grow most of our vegetables in the summer time. It tastes fresher, is healthier and saves a ton of money. Some veggies have been really hard for me to start from seed. I started with no knowledge of gardening at all. Each year it gets better! :)