I love having gardens, I really do. But to me that space of land that is growing things represents so much more than "just a garden".
It represents freedom. Freedom to be able to decide what your family will eat, how it was grown and how it was treated. It represents goodness, and hardiness, and nutrition, and sustainability.
It represents family. Growing up with a large garden and orchard, I remember that beautiful family time spent under the huge oak tree in the front yard shucking corn, picking peaches right off the trees and eating them until I got sick, sitting in the freshly tilled garden dirt with a spoon and a cup and playing in the dirt while my mom and dad worked in the garden. And now that I have my own family it represents continuation of that tradition. Some of the best talks my husband and I have are while we are bent over in the hot sun, picking green beans or filling a five gallon bucket with tomatoes. My girls carry on my love of dirt playing, and now have their own collection of garden spoons and cups to relish the long days of summer.
It represents hope. Hope for a future of ecologically minded children. Hope that the educational experiences that have absorbed through the garden will be far greater a benefit than anything they could learn in school. Hope that the lessons taught in the garden go far beyond that of soil science and pollination, but extend into character building lessons such as patience, thankfullness, givingness and love.
So much more than a garden.....