MOTHER EARTH NEWS’S Garden Essay Contest, titled “Why We Dig Gardening,” prompted many responses — here are our contest winners!
There are many reasons that my boyfriend and I dig gardening. We are both 22 years old and started our first organic garden together this past summer. We grew on a plot of previously untouched land in Meding, Ohio. In order to be sure that we are eating the healthiest food (free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides) with the highest nutritional values, we knew we’d have to produce it ourselves. This allowed us to make a connection with our Mother Earth while being self-sufficient and living a naturally healthy lifestyle. We learned a lot about the art of composting, beneficial insects and organic fertilizers. This hands-on experience will aid us in pursuing our future as organic farmers.
We loved our organic garden because we were able to share our love for healthy, nutritious foods with our families and friends (and their families, too!). Our understanding continues to grow about the importance of taking from Mother Earth her beautiful gifts, but more importantly, returning to her an equal amount of love and care. With the proper care, knowledge and love, our plants bloomed to perfection. We love to garden and look forward to the ongoing give-and-take relationship we have with the Earth and each other. Our plans for a much larger vegetable, flower, mushroom and herb garden are coming together for 2006. We look forward to working together to produce healthy, nutritious foods and beautiful flowers for all to enjoy! We’ve learned what a little hard work and dedication can do, and that is what we dig about gardening!Miranda Marcano and Brandon Pappas