A friend of mine once asked me how much time I spend working in my garden. She was considering planting a garden of her own, but wasn't sure how much time it would take. I had a hard time answering this question. What constitutes work? When I reviewed the photos I took the day I worked on this single raised bed last week, I thought about her question again.
Since I'm obviously addicted to taking pictures of my chickens, I was able to look at the time stamp on the photos and figure out that there was approximately an hour and half between the un-hoed bed I started with and the finished hoed bed I had in the end. An hour and half seems like a long time to work on a single four by eight foot bed, right?
If I really focused on the task and put some muscle into it, I'm sure I could hoe a bed this size in less than fifteen minutes without stressing myself, and that would include a few stops to catch my breath.
But since I spent so much time watching the chickens hunt for worms while I enjoyed my tasty beverage, and taking pictures of chickens and flowers (twenty-two photos!), the experience was much longer. And much more enjoyable!
Look, baby potato plants poking their first leaves out of the ground!
Wow, a half a dozen eggs in just three days. The chickens steady diet of earthworms and grass must really be working.
So, I think the answer to my friends question is that for a garden like mine, which is only supplemental to the grocery store, I spend as much time in the garden as I want, but only a few minutes of that time really qualifies as work. Some tasks feel like real chores if I try to hurry, but if what I really want is to spend some time outside stretching my muscles after a long day in the office, then I can turn a fifteen minute job into an hour and half, and consider it time well spent.
How much time do you spend working in your garden?