We all know the abundant benefits of gardening such as having fresh grown food and the joy you receive in watching your crops grow. Not only that, you also get the pleasure of enjoying preserved food that you grew and if your family gets involved in your gardening efforts, just think of all the great memories and time spent together you can enjoy.
Even the exercise your body receives and the gains in your mental health are all fantastic reasons to start gardening, but gardening also requires sacrifice. Before you start planting seeds, let’s take a look at what it really takes to have a functioning garden and how you should pre plan your garden.
Let’s put this in perspective. My 2500 square foot garden includes blueberry bushes, apple trees, fig trees and a few other trees. It also includes a 72 square foot raised garden patio bed, plus I have some chickens running around and I like to do all the canning of my crops myself.
This amounts to a lot of work. While your garden might not be this large when you start, it’s still important to understand how much work goes into gardening.
There are 5 sacrifices you’ll need to consider before you start planning your dream garden. I’ll also share how I overcame these sacrifices to make gardening a blessing for me and my family.
Sacrifice 1: Lack of Flexibility
First let’s consider how having a garden can contribute to a lack of flexibility in your outdoor activities that you might regularly enjoy with your family. When it’s warm outside, you’ll find me and my family working in our garden.
I sometimes get jealous when I think about how my friends are able to just pick up and go hiking or visit other beautiful areas in Arkansas and my family and I are stuck tilling the garden. Our family has become used to very few impromptu weekend getaways.
While we have a lack of flexibility we have learned to overcome this sacrifice simply by planning. For me, getaways, like camping, are necessary and in order to enjoy them to the fullest, we plan ahead of time. We also have to plan our vacations and I’ve found it’s best to plan them around my garden schedule.
Sacrifice 2: Less “play” With Kids
Our second sacrifice is a hard one for me. I love to spend time with my kids, and when they were younger, it was hard for me to set aside my work in the garden to go play with them. Since my kids are now teenagers, we don’t spend as much time “playing,” but I do remember how hard this was, and if your kids are younger, this could also be a struggle for you.
Over the years I learned to surrender this by reminding myself that when my kids watch me work in my garden and when they choose to get involved in helping me in the garden – that is good for them.
I also have to remind myself that sometimes it’s good to say no to the garden and instead go play some basketball with my daughter or spend some play time swimming with both my kids.
Sacrifice 3: Indoor Projects Get Put On Hold
Another gardening sacrifice is that some of your indoor projects will most likely get put on hold for 9 months out of the year. If you need to do some painting, just wait until November to do it. If you have to clean out some closets, wait until January.
The best way to overcome this sacrifice is to prioritize when things need to get done and be willing to accept that you can do your indoor projects in the winter. You can also take advantage of every rainy day you experience to get something checked off your indoor list.
Sacrifice 4: Too Exhausted To Cook
When you have spent most of your day outside in your garden or you have spent the day canning your crops, you might find that when it’s time to cook dinner, you are too exhausted to cook. I get it and I totally understand how you feel.
I deal with this exhaustion by rewarding myself and the family with an eat-out night. In fact, I plan for nights when we get to enjoy eating out on those days when I know I’m going to be very busy working in the garden. If money is tight, we instead might have a very simple dinner of grilled meat and fresh veggies from the garden.
Sacrifice 5: Messy House
During the busy gardening season you might find that your house is messier than you’d like it to be. This is normal and while it might cause a lot of stress to come in from a long day of gardening to a messy house, there are a few things you can do. I like to pick up the house a bit before I go to bed, or even first thing in the morning before I head outside to the garden.
In the summer, you can consider getting your kids to help out with the chores and you can also do your inside chores during the hottest part of the day when you don’t want to be outside in your garden.
These five sacrifices are all things to consider as you are pre planning your garden. While having a garden is an excellent way to save money and grow your own food, it does require a lot of work and knowing the sacrifices that you may encounter along the way is a healthy way to pre plan your new dream garden.
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