I was visiting with my sister the other day and we got to talking about my big garden and all the work it takes. I told her some people think I’m deranged or dumb for having such a big one. She had to admit she thought so as well. It made me think about why I do grow a big garden.

Some would probably say it is for the money, but that is sure not an issue. It is unreal what stuff costs anymore. From seeds to fertilizer, everything is expensive. Fertilizer alone costs several hundred dollars a year. Seed costs several hundred dollars. Seed starting equipment costs a bunch. And the list of expenses just grows, so it’s not for an income.

One reason is the fresh veggies we eat. We eat a bunch of veggies daily during the summer, from tomatoes to cucumbers to broccoli to corn. There is just nothing that compares to a fresh veggie right out of the garden. I also enjoy the challenge of growing a big garden. Down here in Missouri it is a struggle fighting with the weeds and bugs and such. Growing up I can’t remember there being this many bugs and weeds. Dad didn’t spray one bit for bugs; he did some dusting, but that was about all.

One other reason is the health benefits of simply working in the garden. Without the garden I honestly don’t think I would be as healthy as I am. I wish I was more healthy, but with the problems I’ve had with my lungs I think I’m doing pretty good.

Probably 5, 6 or 7 years ago I ended up in the emergency room with breathing problems. I just couldn’t get enough air. I had noticed I was having problems for several months but just figured it was because I was overweight, which adds to the problem. Where I was working we had to climb vertical ladders, and I just couldn’t do it. I just didn’t have enough air. There were times climbing the stairs I thought I was going to pass out. When I went to the emergency room my oxygen reading was down in the 70s.

I had all kinds of tests and the doctors never made an exact diagnosis, but knew I had a breathing problem. So I went home on oxygen 24/7. It was a bummer all the way around. No matter where I went or what I did the oxygen tank went along. For a good while I dragged a tank around on a little cart. Eventually I found a…