Cultivating Gratitude


vegetables in pail

Photo by Saskia Esslinger

This is the time of year to express gratitude in the United States. At least, that was the original intention: to give thanks for the abundant harvest and our friends who share it with us. But do people actually appreciate where their food comes from? Do they even know?

As a gardener, you might know. Perhaps you will be serving up some of your own harvest this Thanksgiving. You might not feel like it is special because you didn't go spend a bunch of money on it. It might not be exactly what your family usually serves for Thanksgiving. But think about all the tender loving care you put into growing, harvesting, and preserving it! Now that deserves some gratitude!

In fact, what if we ate from our gardens year-round, and gave thanks every day? What if every day was a sort of a Thanksgiving? Now, I'm not saying you have to provide all of your own food and eat pie every day (actually that would be awesome!) but you can live the sort of lifestyle where daily homegrown food and gratitude is a reality.

What would that look like? We would plan our gardens to provide enough food for us year-round, based on what we like to eat. We would plan our meals around what we had preserved instead of what was on sale at the store. We would prioritize growing and preserving food when it is appropriate in our climate. We would make time to cook wholesome meals from scratch.

We would give thanks for the sun, rain, soil life, and seeds. We would appreciate all of nature's services. We would love our time spent tending our garden. We would give thanks for the time we have to work our gardens and all the help we get from friends and family.

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