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 www.foodshedplanet.com and www.sustainabledunwoody.com.