Recently...well...a month or two ago...two people asked me two different questions:
"Do you do what you do in the garden because you enjoy it or because you are expected to do it?"
"What keeps you motivated?"
One question came via a phone conversation and one by Facebook, within the space of a week or so.
I have been pondering these questions since and I believe the answers are almost the one and the same.
To me gardening is, in many ways, magic. God's magic as it were. It is the old, old story of death and rebirth. The circle of life. The sort of magic that never gets old, that never ceases to thrill.
How miraculous is it that you can take teensy little dead things like this...
plant them and get a plant that grows taller than you are and produces, under ideal circumstances of course, pounds and pounds of fruit like this?
I love to watch the little green beans sprout and unfold their initial umbrella leaves.
The sweet potatoes fascinate me as well. Just plant a little slip like this:
and then you can get several pounds of these.
What could be a better motivator than this? I dunno. But in the dead of winter when the temps are hovering around ten degrees I love to pop open a quart jar of green beans and heat them up for supper. For dessert it's fun to roll out a couple of sheets of pie crust, pop open a jar of apple pie filling or blueberry pie filling and slop it into the crust, cover and bake. Super easy.
In the freezer are stacked bags of corn, ready to be taken out, cooked and enjoyed: the taste of summer in mid-January.
Or a jar of homemade salsa to go with some tortilla chips. That is another taste of summer in a jar.
The list could go on, but I guess this is enough to give an idea of my motivations for gardening and also to answer whether I do it because I like it or because it's expected of me.
Of course okra and cabbage fall under a different category. I grow them because Gary likes them and I need a variety of things to feed him. But I wouldn't be inspired of my own self to grow them for me. If that makes any sense.