This is the Vegetable Garden during the summer at Tower Hill.

By Robert Burgess
THBG Senior Communications Manager

Gardening, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

1) It’s good for your mental health. Gardening can be a therapeutic activity. Pulling weeds, pruning plants, and setting seedlings can even feel a bit Zen. For me, it’s the best way to distract myself from whatever else is going on in life.

2) It’s good for your physical health. The CDC considers gardening exercise and it sure does keep you moving. It helps us fight that modern sedentary lifestyle. While gardening, you’re body is stretching in all kinds of ways that make it akin to a yoga session. And if you’re like me, forgetting various tools all over the place, you can build up your daily step count pretty fast walking back and forth to your shed or garage.

3) It can fight climate change. This is what motivated me to start vegetable gardening. I wanted to reduce the amount of food I ate that was grown on factory farms and transported across the continent to my kitchen table. When you grow your own organic garden, you reduce your carbon footprint.

Making discoveries in Tower Hill’s Vegetable Garden.

4) It gets you in tune with nature. Nothing connects you more to nature than gardening. You’ll notice the birds, when the buds are breaking on trees, when temperatures stop freezing at night. You’ll discover what a humming bird moth is. And being connected to nature’s rhythms is good for the body, soul, and planet. All of a sudden, you feel part of the ecosystem.

5) It tastes better. This is subjective, but I’ve found that fruits and vegetables that are grown thousands of miles away aren’t always grown for taste, but instead are geared toward lasting the long trip. Produce from the local farmstand or your backyard is more flavorful and satisfying.

Bonus: For some people, it’s comforting to know they have food coming from their yards to supplement the industrialized supply system. This isn’t what motivates me to grow a vegetable garden. My garden is pretty big, but not nearly big enough to feed my family on its own. But I understand how it comforts people to learn the skills needed to grow their own food.