Have you noticed that a lot of people seem angrier than usual? There does appear to be more angst in the world (or at least in our corner of it) than we remember ever being there in the past (okay, the Vietnam era was a bit angry as well). It is always amazing how appreciation for all we have gets over-run by desire or despair over what we don’t have. Being thankful falls by the wayside. It is our goal at Eco Garden Systems to embrace life through the shared purpose of gardening – and for that we are thankful.
So, as we move through the holiday season – which should be the most joyous time of the entire year – we want to share a few things to think about as you ponder what you are thankful for. Hint – we may try and link gardening to this so be forewarned!!
Being Thankful For Family: We consider this the only place to start with gardening – and with thankfulness. Family is pretty important – and don’t think that having a great set of family connections is a given. Culturally, we seem to have moved away from the concept of family – and many cultures around the world have a much more serious focus on family (likely, they have as many challenges as we do – but they seem to stick it out). One of the nice things about the holidays is there is a renewed focus on family – both by biological definition and choice. Remember, your family is not always blood but those that you surround yourself with that are always there for you.
Being Thankful For Community: This of course leads to all of the people and organizations you surround yourself with – or your community. If you do not have one, find one, find two or get to know the options out there. Electronics give us a lot of connections – but not always the community we want or need to make us happy and/or thankful. It does not matter if it is a book group, a networking group, a group focused on faith or other common interest (to be fair, the best type of community is one focused on gardening – but we may be biased). This is sort of your second family – make sure they all know how thankful you are to be part of their community. Check out our link to building a community you can be thankful for here.
Being Thankful For Health: While this is listed third, it really could be first because if you do not have your health you really can’t enjoy a whole lot else. Like many of our own community across the various social channels, we have experienced a variety of health issues inside our community – and they can be devastating. We are thankful every day for being healthy and find that gardening can impact your health in so many ways:
- Healthy eating – fresh vegetables are part of every healthy diet. Introduce them early and you will be thankful that your kids will grow up eating (and living) vegetables
- Healthy lifestyle – from stress relief to social interactions to many positive health outcomes (physical vitality, heart health, mental health, etc.) gardening is one of the best activities for all of these – so we are very thankful that our product and passion can have some many healthy outcomes
- Healthy connections – we have met so many wonderful people as we have expanded our business – and they have been so generous with their time and their wisdom. Here are links to some of the folks who have helped us the most:
Being Thankful For Fresh Food: Did you know that the thing that had the largest impact on winning the Cold War was our ability as a country to move fresh produce (and other goods) so far, so fast and so efficiently? It is true. The Interstate System has been identified as perhaps the main reasons we were able to outlast the Soviet Union in this cold conflict. They say that memory is so that we can have roses in December but we say that efficient trucking and transportation is why we can have grapes in December. Our ability to move fresh produce to market every single month of the year and keep it incredibly inexpensive relative to other countries. For this, we are forever thankful.
Being Thankful For Freedom: This is another thing we are very thankful for – our myriad of freedoms here in the United States. Freedom of choice, freedom to speak our minds, freedom to disagree, freedom to find new pathways for doing things, freedom to embrace new and different ideas. Without this freedom, our product may have never made its way to market and we may not have been able to work with so many great folks to create new ways to garden. We have run up against the “Gardening Culture” where crawling around in the dirt is considered the only way – but we know that raised garden beds are the best way to get everyone to experience the joys of gardening. We also encourage all of our followers to remember how we got these freedoms and what has to be done to protect them – as is often stated, freedom is not always free.
Being Thankful For Choice: Some of our team members remember the days when “exotic” fruits and vegetables at the grocery store meant pineapple and any green other than head lettuce. Today, we can grow almost anything – and both seeds and knowledge are at our fingertips to help us do the best we can at growing even the most interesting vegetables (we think that rainbow colored carrots are the absolute best – and we are still trying to master growing them here in Minnesota!). We will be sharing more on this as we approach next year’s garden – Mother wants more commercial varieties while we want to still learn more about the best ways to start and grow the cool stuff – like Brad’s Atomic Grape Tomatoes.
Being Thankful For Plenty: Our final entry into the Eco Garden Systems thankfulness parade is Plenty – our ability to access food easily and fresh food all year long. That being said, there are still plenty of food deserts across the country which is a bit of a challenge for us – and an opportunity. Our goal as a company is to help everyone gain access to the ability to garden – and grow enough food to sustain their family (from a fresh vegetable perspective) or to offset some of their grocery bill through gardening. This ties back to community as well as when people band together with a shared purpose around gardening, then we are truly grateful. Our Original Garden is currently being re-worked in an attempt to make it more accessible to everyone. We already can help raised garden bed advocates to double production (our 4’ x 6’ bed can produce as much as a 4’ x 12’ in-ground plot) and we want to bring this to folks who are stuck with the “too’s”:
- Space is too small
- Weather is too hot or cold
- Moisture is too much or too little (our ecosystem helps with both – check it out here
- Too old (or physically unable) to bend, stoop or crawl anymore
- Soil is too poor
- Skill set is too weak (it is not – trust us on this)
We can help with all of these – and set you on the path to become the best gardener that is currently locked inside you!