Ladies and Gentlemen, put down your gardening gloves. Yes, it's
time to get outside and renew your direct bonds with the earth --
grow produce, plant flowers, trim bushes, etc. Just don't let me
see you wearing gloves while you do it!
I know it's seemingly natural to walk out to the garage and arm
yourself with the basics:
"Digger," as I usually call it, and anything else that
digs, whether it's a small trowel or industrial-size excavating
equipment...much to my husband's dismay.
- Kneeling Pad
I don't consider myself "decrepit," but apparently any knees over
about 22 years old will scream at you if you aren't using one of
- Watering Can
Yes, although not decrepit, I am somewhat old-fashioned. If they
didn't have it on Little House on the Prairie then I don't
need it either. I actually just try to avoid the
high-blood-pressure inducing screaming matches that I inevitably
have with the hose and its reel. I'd rather haul water around my
one-acre property, one gallon at a time, than let loose with the
curse words that the hose-reel induces.
- Seeds or Plantlings
Nope, not a word, but it should be. Trees have "saplings" for
babies, so why does the young tomato plant get "transplant" as a
nickname? That's not endearing. Whatever you're doing out there in
the great outdoors today, grab that.
*Special note for #4. If you're going through the trouble of
making a garden, purchasing seeds, and caring for them all season,
go ahead and spend the extra 20 cents and spring for the organic
seeds. Seriously? You don't think it's "worth it" to avoid some
genetic modification and pesticide exposure for 20 cents? I'll see
you in the clinic.
So, why isn't there a #5? What about those gardening gloves?
Let's break down the reasons that most people purchase and wear
gardening gloves. First, you probably hate dirt, and you don't want
it on your beautiful hands. OK. Let's just stop there. The dirt is
your friend, and it would like to do you a service. Get out of its
Sink your beautiful bare hands into the dirt, and you could be
rewarded with Myobacterium vaccae, a friendly bacteria that
stimulates the release of serotonin in your body. This is awesome.
Serotonin is known as the "happy hormone," because of its role in
elevating mood and decreasing anxiety. Read more about the benefits
of dirt for your health in this article by Therapeutic Landscapes
Now get out there, toss your gardening gloves in the back of the
garage with everything else, and get your hands dirty. While you're
at it, take off your shoes, too, and plant your feet firmly and
comfortably on the earth. This is called grounding, and we humans
have been screwing it up by walking around with shoes (mostly
ion-reflective rubber-soled shoes) whenever we're outside lately
(say, for the past 100 years or so). Don't worry; you can still
wear clothes when you go outside -- just leave those hands and feet