Hands in the Dirt
14 Mar 2013

Hands in the Dirt

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.
– Alfred Austin 

leek babies

As gardeners we shape and sculpt the earth, which in turn shapes us. Fresh air, sunlight, rain, and sweet and pungent scents nourish the full spectrum of our senses, which are often numbed or over stimulated by modern life.

Much of our region is still cold and snow covered, but seeds are stirring and the land is softening into our famous New England mud. If you’d like to sprout inside, now is the time! Seeds are available at natural food co-ops and gardening supply stores. Later in the spring, starters will be available at farmer’s markets or farm stands.

lettuce babieslettuce starters

If you are without access to private garden space, your neighborhood or town may offer space in local community garden plots. The Growing Center in the heart of urban Somerville is a small but vibrant gathering place for plant lovers with lots of programs for all ages.

Or, sign up as a farm or garden volunteer and enjoy your time outside while helping others. Gaining Ground, The Food Project, and Waltham Fields Community Farm are nonprofits that grow food for hunger relief programs, and all rely on a strong volunteer base. The Boston Area Gleaners takes volunteers to farms to rescue surplus food for meal programs.

There are lots of Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) programs offered by farms in Massachusetts, and many CSAs require members to contribute a little time down on the farm. Check out NOFA’s Organic Food Guide to find a CSA and sign up to support our local farmers.

Whether it’s a small indoor herb garden, volunteering on a farm, or a single pot of rosemary, get those hands in the dirt to nurture and be nurtured!