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Sharing: Your Garden's Other Health Benefit

10/8/2008 10:54:21 AM

Tags: community, gardening for health, harvests


I was going to write about the obesity epidemic, and the news reports that show it’s worsening across the nation, yet ... what on earth is there left to say about that? Plant a Victory Garden and eat fresh, organic whole food? Explore your walkshed every day? Enough. How many times can I beat that dead horse?

So, there I was once again, with a fistful of herbs, heading to a neighbor’s house when it hit me: Something to share. Surely it's one of the most important health benefits of keeping a garden.

Ever since I have had my garden, I have had something to share. I no longer show up empty handed. No one ever leaves my house without something, and I am never stuck needing to run to the store in rush hour rain when I want to thank someone who has done me a kindness, or want to give a little pick-me-up to someone in pain. I save jars to fill with flowers and herbs, and leave them on doorsteps like old-time milk deliveries.

The folks to whom I give these things appreciate them, but I know that I’m the one who really gets the gift.

Forget the diet benefits of gardening. There are health benefits – connections to other people – that should not be overlooked. When push comes to shove, isn’t this all we really want? A way to share?

Eco-writer Pattie Baker lives near Atlanta, Georgia, where she raises gardens and kids, and writes sustainability blogs at and

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Post a comment below.
10/13/2008 9:39:20 AM
I do a 'blanket share' at the office where I work. We have a table in the lounge where we put items to share with others. I've been putting fruit and veggies on this table and have been amazed at how quickly they disappear. Once word got around that they were from my garden people from other floors of my building would stop in to tell me how much they have enjoyed my excess produce and maybe stay and chat for a few minutes. I would say making new friendships is also a benefit of sharing.

Paul Gardener
10/9/2008 11:33:45 AM
I agree so much with you! Sharing the blessings that we receive from our garden is truly one of the greatest pleasure that I get from it (healthy, flavorful food aside of course). I would add to your observations that not only is it a positive way to spread a better diet and foster community but is a easy way to encourage others to start gardens of their own, a nobel pursuit in itself. Great post! P~

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