Gardening My good friend in Wisconsin, despite a very long and very cold winter, is digging out her gardening tools, dusting off her grow lights and preparing her seed pots. It is time, snow on the ground or not, to think gardening. Once the family had flown the coop and gardening is no longer an economic necessity, you may be asking yourself “why bother.” It is easy to purchase a single tomato, a small bunch of lettuce and a few green onions, but it just isn’t the same. Once exposed to the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of gardening it is pretty hard to let it go. Planting, digging, mowing and other activities related to gardening are a great work out. Thirty minutes a day of moderate activity, such as gardening, can reduce the risk of many chronic conditions. Not to mention that you will have all of the fresh fruits and vegetables you can eat. Exercise is reason enough, but there is something about digging in the dirt that makes you feel like a kid again. Gardening is dirty, but at the same time there is something life affirming about getting back to basics; soil, seeds, and seasonal cycles. Smart seniors have discovered the world of ergonomic tools. By adopting a few modifications and using innovative tools they can garden without causing excessive strain on tender joints. Don’t worry about not having a green thumb; it may be that your time just hasn’t come yet. Patience, experience, more leisure time, and the maturity that comes with age gives you an edge over your younger more impatient self. Check with your doctor and be sure you understand good body mechanics, and then go for it. Digging, smelling blossoms, breathing in fresh air, feeling the sunshine on your shoulders will bring you inner peace like nothing else. Now the answer to the real question. What are you going to do with your abundant harvest (beside eating more vegetables)? The answer of course is to “share” your bounty with neighbors, friends and the community soup kitchens. Share your joy!