Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Fulfillment In Dirty Labor: Explaining The Joys Of Gardening

Gramps built everything on his farm from the ground up, working hard alongside his farmhands (including a strapping teenaged yours truly) in keeping agrarian enterprise on the outskirts of Fresno going up until he retired. Although we both shared a love of planting and growing things, it was his attitude toward work that rubbed off on me. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with getting your hands a little dirty and honest, hard work was something that mattered.

Image source: telegraph.co.uk
Even though I eventually went on to become a professional photographer, the call to agriculture kept on coming back, though by then, I've become invested in a modest house in San Francisco. Of course, that never stopped this old city boy, and I have long since turned every possible nook and cranny in my yard as a planting space for various plants, mostly edibles.

There are few things as wonderful in life as getting your hands dirty and growing stuff. Nature has a very therapeutic effect on people, enough that not a few psychiatric professionals are encouraging this hobby to help people cope with mental disorders like depression. Plus, nature has quite the calming effect on the human psyche: merely being around plants helps us feel at ease and calm.

Image source: readynutrition.com
For the young and the young at heart, gardening can also be a gateway to foster the curious mind and cultivate a love of conservation. Those who tend to plants will be able to see firsthand how plants grow, behave, and interact with their environment, and be witness to how our activities, good and bad, can affect other living things.

Joshua Manocherian here. Follow my other blog to catch more on my adventures in gardening, picture-taking, and cuisine.