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Culture

Why You Should Grow a Garden this Spring

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This year I will be planting a garden. I’m incredibly excited for the moment when the sprouts are first visible. Those soon will fill out with leaves, buds, flowers and, hopefully, the delicious fruits of the plant. No, I don’t live on a farm—I don’t even have a yard. I live in an apartment that, luckily, has a balcony. But even all that space isn’t really needed to start your own garden this year!

Besides providing delicious produce, gardening also helps me get in touch with God and see just where I fit in, in the scheme of creation. I’ll let you in on that and then give you a few options and ideas to start your own garden—big or small.

The Mind of a Creator

Having our very own garden not only gives us delicious veggies and herbs to munch on; it also has the added bonus of linking us to our Creator. The Divine Principle teaches that “everything in the created universe is a substantial manifestation of some quality of the Creator’s invisible, divine nature.”

When we start planting, don’t we have an opportunity to learn what being a creator is like? We get a little more insight into the objects we create than if we didn’t play a hand in their upbringing. We might learn just how much water and sunlight a tomato plant needs to thrive, or how insects and birds somehow know when our plants are ripe and delicious. Raising our garden from seeds to vines, we gain a special glimpse into what God was thinking at the beginning of the universe.

Garden Our Kingdom: What Kind of Ruler Am I?

Father Moon taught that human beings were created to have dominion over creation, based on Genesis 1:28: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

Many of us might equate “having dominion” with dominating nature. Dominion actually has more to do with sovereignty—we are meant to be the kings and queens of nature. Just like any ruler, the way we rule can lead our kingdom to flourish or perish.

Are we ready to take on that responsibility? There are some plants that are virtually indestructible, but others do take a little extra time, care and planning to thrive. What kinds of plants do we feel ready to govern? Finding the right plant for each of us can offer insight into the kinds of responsibility we’re willing to take on or, more precisely, the kinds of responsibility we enjoy.

Father Moon continued on to teach us that “God created the human body with elements from the physical world—such as water, clay and air—to allow us to perceive and govern it.” When taking care of our chlorophyll-filled friends, we actually can take a lot of cues from our own needs. What do we need each day to grow? What if we didn’t get enough water or sunlight? If we think about it, we might find that we are a lot more similar to our leafy counterparts than we originally thought.

Enjoy it!

Once my vegetables are grown, I’ll be making salads, adding them into soups, and looking up new recipes to incorporate them all. If something seems a bit bland, I’ll turn to my little herb garden to enjoy those fresh, fragrant flavors. What better way to show my appreciation for God’s precious gift?

Not sure you can create your own garden? Feel like you’re limited in space or money? It doesn’t have to take too much of your time, effort, or expenses. Take the DP Life weekly Spring Challenge and try a few of these ideas this spring:

1. Use the vegetables you bought from the store. For the most part, you can take a small portion of the vegetables (usually a part you wouldn’t eat anyway), place it in some water, and let it root. Check out this link for further tips and tricks.

2. Get a few small flowerpots for your herb garden. Many stores will sell you a pot of parsley, basil, and many others for about $4 a pot. It’s not too expensive and can fit on the windowsill of even the smallest apartment!

3. Try a container garden. This takes a little more space and lots of pots, but you don’t actually need a yard to create one of these. You can start from seeds, pre-sprouted plants, or use your grocery store plants as I mentioned above!

Take a photo of your garden masterpiece and post it on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #dplifeyourgarden, and we’ll post some of our favorites on Facebook!