Originally on Sort of Retired on 9/14/11
Why to hell does it seem as though everyone who retires gets into gardening?
Who’s idea of fun is going outside and digging up parts of your lawn or creating space from where trees used to be, in other words busting your ass, just to plant stuff in the ground? Especially when you can just go down to the local supermarket and buy whatever you want a lot easier.
Why do retirees and others who garden willingly endure merciless weather, muddy feet, dirty hands, nasty bugs, time and all the other sh!t that they put up with, when they could be doing a million other things that are not nearly as much work or effort and probably a lot more fun.
I used to ask all of those questions when I would see all those old farts out there in their gardens or read about how they grew this or got rid of this bug by doing that and so many other things that are important to gardeners.
Well now that I have joined the old fart brigade and sort of retired, this past summer I helped my wife with her garden more than I ever have in the past, at first it was more for spending time with her than anything else, but as the summer progressed I noticed that I was starting to enjoy my time in the garden – shhhhhh I don’t want too many to hear that.
First let me say that I am a dedicated carnivore and have been my whole life and those green, red, orange or yellow things were just things on my plate that I was supposed to eat. Over the course of the summer I saw a change in my eating habits with meat becoming the side dish and greens/veggies/fruits are becoming the main course.
While I will never completely give up being a carnivore, I am now eating less meat and that change is directly tied to working in our garden and what it produces.
We have moved more and more organic in our eating, even before we thought about retiring, but the prices for organic anything are outrageous as hell to say the least! The wife has had a garden since well before I met her and I have always been “Harold the Destroyer” when it comes to helping out in the garden.
Over the past few years I have done a lot of reading and as a result of what I have learned, I don’t trust the chemicals and pesticides that industrial farming adds to the crops and their attitudes towards the environment or their customer’s health. This summer I got to watch everything in the garden grow, I know what is on it and where everything came from.
So why I have become so interested in gardening,
- the cost of greens, vegetable and fruits at the store
- I know how they were grown and what was used on them
- the health benefits –
- eating well
- getting exercise (gardening is real work)
All of those reasons why people garden still didn’t answer my question –
“Why to hell does it seem as though everyone who retires gets into gardening?
I really think it is all about time.
When you retire or in my case sort of retire, your time is your own to choose what you do during the day. Gardening is definitely time and labor intensive. When you are part of the 9-5 workforce, most people don’t have the time and energy necessary to garden after a full day of work. I know when I was teaching or way back when I was in the military, I didn’t have time for gardening and didn’t try to make time either.
So why do so many retirees garden – because they have the time and make the choice that this is how they want to spend their time. We want to be outdoors helping stuff grow and it doesn’t hurt that it stretches those fixed income dollars a lot further than going down to the local supermarket or farmers market.
There is also a sense of self-sufficiency when you go outside, pick all the ingredients for your garden salad, directly from your garden and then come back in and eat it.
Joining the Gardener Club
I guess I am just another old fart who is sort of retired, who is learning how to garden, without being “Harold the Destroyer”. The best part about it is that I am finding that I like gardening and have even started reading about how to be a better gardener. Shhhhh don’t tell the wife, she might make me do even more in “her” garden ;).
Yeah I joined the gardener club and no you don’t have to be retired to garden, but you have more time to do it :).