Gardening Offers Outdoor Opportunity

            For many folks, the ideal outdoor experience is slightly less strenuous than hiking over mountains or canoeing down rivers.  These individuals prefer a more serene, peaceful opportunity to appreciate natureís bounty.  For the folks from this camp there are few things more enjoyable than spending time preparing, planting and nurturing their gardens. 

            Gardening offers an abundant opportunity to spend time outdoors.  For dedicated gardeners there is no greater enjoyment than finally harvesting those vegetables that youíve spent the last five months raising.  Ask any seasoned gardener and theyíll swear that store-bought produce just doesnít compare to that of the home-grown variety.  And I couldnít agree more. 

            There are any number of reasons that people enjoy spending time in their gardens.  For less active people gardening offers the perfect excuse to get outside and get some exercise and fresh air.  Some folks appreciate gardening for its nurturing aspects.  In the span of four or five months youíre able to plant the seeds, water, weed and protect the plants until they yield their fruit.  Itís almost as the garden gives them another child to raise.  But donít let that scare you off.  Iíve never heard tell of a garden waking you up in the middle of the night.  Others enjoy working in the garden because thatís what they were taught to do.  Their parents and grandparents instilled an appreciation of growing vegetables and the work that is involved.  Thus, it feels like theyíre carrying on a tradition by raising their own gardens.  And, of course, some folks let the taste of competition enter into their gardens.  These people are dead set on growing the most perfect tomato, squash, peppers, corn, cantaloupe, watermelon, etc. 

            Regardless of what fuels you to spend time in the garden it is still time well spent.  Everyone could benefit from watching a tiny sprout poking through the soil reach for the sky and continue growing until, eventually, it brings food to the table.  One suggestion I would add for my fellow gardeners is to always plant a few more plants than what youíll need.  When these plants begin ripening youíll have plenty to share with friends who donít share youíre green thumb.  And from my experience, after you show up with a basket full of fresh tomatoes youíll have a friend for life.