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Quote of the Day

April 5th, 2009

“To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.”

My parents are avid gardeners, so I grew up in the garden. However, I’ve heard many people my age and younger, wishing their parents had taught them how to garden and grow veggies. It seems like growing plants, particularly food should be a skill that every child learns. Perhaps the skill will never be used, but at least if a need arises they have the knowledge.

Do you think we as a society have forgotten ourselves because many of us no longer garden? Do you feel like you’re more connected with your roots because you garden?

13 Comments to “Quote of the Day”
  1. Jan on April 5, 2009 at 6:29 am

    Yes, to both of your questions. So many people today seem to be removed from nature which is a shame. I come from a long line of gardeners, and my gardening, which I have passed on to my daughter, does keep that connection with my parents and grandparents.

    Always Growing

    Jan’s last blog post.. Spring Growth

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  2. Mangochild on April 5, 2009 at 7:16 am

    I definitely feel more connected when I am with my plants/seedlings. I don’t know if it is connected to my roots, since growing up we never had space to garden (even containers) but I feel like I am connected to the world. As if there is something for me to focus on and live in beyond my own personal world, if that makes sense.
    I do think that gardening/growing things is something that should be brought back into societal life. Happily some of that seems to be starting, I’m seeing more and more about children’s gardens both in schools and in community centers. As you say, the skill may be used/not used over the lifetime, but the memory and experience will be there, and can come out at the most opportune times. It is a chance to care for another living thing while (interestingly enough) caring for oneself both mentally and physically. I’ve seen my mood and focus change for the better so much when I am thinking and caring for my plants – as if there are so many positive and busy thoughts in there that it makes me more productive overall as a member of society.

    Mangochild’s last blog post.. Seedling Update: After the Grow Lights

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  3. Daphne on April 5, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Gardening certainly connects me to my past. I’ve written a couple of posts about it. One about the old family farm. But the most relevant was my post about my past and why I vegetable garden. But to make a long story short, my mom was born on a farm and grew up there. She has always had a vegetable garden. She has always composted. To me gardening was the norm. And I love being out in the garden. It is peaceful joyous place. I would love others to have that joy too, but I’m not sure everyone feels it. Most of my friends have small gardens, but not everyone. I always wonder if they would feel the same joy as I do, or maybe they have chosen the right path for themselves.

    Daphne’s last blog post.. A Death in the Garden

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  4. kristin on April 5, 2009 at 8:32 am

    YES. And not my roots in the sense of my childhood, because I didn’t learn how to garden from my parents. More like roots in a much bigger sense. Growing food just seems very natural to me, in an elemental sense.

    kristin’s last blog post.. Flotsam and Jetsam

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  5. Erin on April 5, 2009 at 8:55 am

    I feel like we are a in a society of short-cuts and instant gratification. If everyone had a garden imagine the changes in so many aspects of our environment! I am so glad I had my dad to teach me all I needed to know…

    Erin’s last blog post.. 5k Recap (heavy wind advisory)

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  6. Judy on April 5, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I also say yes to both questions. I grew up on the farm and in the garden. I didn’t always like it as a child- lots of my ‘city friends’ didn’t have to pull weeds or pick beans or help can tomatoes. Now I treasure having learned all those things. My children help me in the garden- not always willingly either.
    I think there is so much to be gained from gardening. The sense of achievement, the sense of security and the sense of connection with something larger. But I think the best I have heard it is on a little garden stake that my best friend gave me. It says “Gardening- cheaper than a shrink”!

    Judy’s last blog post.. Oops

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  7. Clare on April 5, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I agree with your two questions. Without contact with the earth and her potentials to provide, we loose touch of our spiritual core. Great post!

    Clare’s last blog post.. Finally,

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  8. Emily@remodelingthislife on April 5, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I didn’t learn that fruits and veggies came from the earth until school. Seriously. My parents had flower gardens but it was a foreign concept to me that vegetables came from the ground for too long. NOW my parents are big into gardening and growing their own – but I realize that is because they have much more time now and don’t necessarily fault them for not doing it sooner. We have the time so I am thrilled to be teaching my kids about growing their own starting so early.

    Emily@remodelingthislife’s last blog post.. Link Love: March Top Referrers

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  9. keewee on April 5, 2009 at 11:47 am

    I also say yes to both questions. It is such a shame kids are not learning gardening from their parents, and the parents probably did not learn from theirs. Many folks live in a city where perhaps they do not have anywhere for a garden, there are many reasons why people do not grow their own food, or even enjoy the beauty of flowers. Life just seems to get in the way, and it is such a high tech society that I am sure if you asked some kids to learn about gardening, you would receive one of those disgusted looks they are often display. So sad.

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  10. Em on April 5, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Oh yes. Growing things connects me with the cycle of life itself, the seasons and the ephemeral nature of our existence; it makes me appreciate again that I have today, right now, to breathe, and what a gift that is. Gardening seems to allow me to connect more with the world and feel that I have more to give to others; conversely when i am without a place to grow things, I find my soul turns inwards on itself, folded up and small. Perhaps it isn’t like that for everyone, but I’m sure that if every person had to learn to grow food for a year, just a year, that it would change their perspective of so many things.

    Em’s last blog post.. Autumn seedlings

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  11. DeeDee on April 6, 2009 at 12:33 am

    i grew up in the garden also… more like a jungle! but i absolutely hated it… especially in my early teen years when i had to weed, snap beans, pick corn or tomatoes, etc when i would rather be w/ my friends! i grew up with my mom preserving tons of our food, but i never had much interest in it until the past few years. (as i become more like my mother, but don’t tell her i said that!) now as we garden more and more, i’m hoping to instill that into my kids… our 5 yr old is very aware of the “green” movement from watching tv (pbs!), so he’s very excited for our garden this year. our seedlings are coming up and he’s loving that. i’m just anxious to see how excited he is to be in the garden in july when it’s hot! but what little boy doesn’t like to play in the dirt, right?!

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  12. warren on April 7, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I absolutely think that it is true. People have no idea how food works. I like the convenience of the grocery store to be sure, but I so much more appreciate the work that goes into a garden and the fruits of my labor. I am teaching my kids to garden for that reason as well.

    warren’s last blog post.. Mortgage on the castle

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  13. debra on April 9, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    i read somewhere years ago that the further we move from the earth, the closer we move toward destruction. i remember, as a child, spending hours in the garden chasing anoles and rolly-pollys, picking fists full of flowers that other people called weeds and lolling in the grass staring at the clouds. then i “grew-up” and stopped doing those things. and i was miserable. i viewed the space where i lived as a shell used mainly for food and shelter and little more. when i started gardening that feeling of disconnect started to fade. now i spend hours in the garden “working” and enjoying myself and watching my daughter collect fists full of rolly-pollys and clover and stare at clouds.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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