Starting Your Backyard Garden:What’s your “Why”?

When I teach gardening workshops on starting a backyard vegetable garden, I always ask people to identify their “why?”.

“Why” are you going to put in the effort of growing your own food ?

“Why” do you want to spend your valuable time to develop this skill?

“Why” is growing even a little bit of your own food, going to help you?

“Why” is what is going to save you when things get hard.

Sometimes it does cost $60 to produce a tomato. But it will be the best damn tomato you have ever tasted and you’ll want more because food grown in your backyard is always better for your health.

Sometimes trying to grow a giant pumpkin is a waste of time if your goal is to cut your feed costs. But you learn growing lettuce only takes 45 days, and can be harvested and replanted for almost 8 months in most places. Now that really adds up in savings.

Sometimes deer think they have a right to food you are growing. They are fed carrots all over the neighborhood (warning: don’t get me started on this topic) and it will take wolf urine, an 8ft foot fence, and solar electric wire to win that battle in the long run. Homegrown peas picked fresh from the bush by your grandkids are worth it a thousand times over.

Your “why” strengthens your resolve over and over again.

And your original “why” often becomes a series of benefits you can rattle off as things you know to be true, but didn’t know you needed at first.

“Preventative healthcare “

“Connection to the land “


“Cut feed costs”

“Food security “

“Close supply chain”

“Better tasting food”

“Basic skills to be passed on “

“To be a producer and not just a consumer”

“Self sufficiency “

But it all starts with a gnawing feeling you must do something more with that piece of lawn or that container.

It will find its way to the light and you will feed and water that need, until your “why” thrives, grows and produces such a bounty you will tell and show anyone who will listen.

Your “why” forever etched on your soul strengthened when shared.

So I ask you again.

“What’s your why?”

Love Jenn xx

A child holds out his hand showing a vegetable
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