Between loving fresh vegetables and an assumption about gardens being â€œdoctrine,â€ I find myself planting every spring and harvesting what the bugs didnâ€™t nibble in the summer and fall. Except for a few condo-living years when dirt was a scarce commodity, I have planted religiously. But last week, when my kids (yet again) turned a bit of weeding and picking into a brawl about who was working hardest and who was not helping at all, I wondered why. There is a farmerâ€™s market just down the street, after all.
An admittedly quick search demonstrated that most statements were from the President Kimball era when I was young, so it makes sense that I remember planting a garden as doctrine. My search also turned up Patricia Reece Roperâ€™s true story in the Friend. The mom in the story tells her young daughter, â€œHoney, the prophet said that we need to plant a garden. He told us at the last general conference. So Daddy borrowed that tiller, and weâ€™re going to obey the prophet and plant a garden.â€
â€œI donâ€™t know why the prophet wants us to. I guess he wants everyone to be self-sufficientâ€ (Friend, Aug 2001, 4).
Obedience? Self-sufficiency? Teaching kids to work? Word of wisdom/food issues? Does anyone know the official reason(s) why we plant? Are gardens even â€œdoctrineâ€ any longer? Or are gardens one of those guiltless good ideas that you should doâ€”but wonâ€™t keep you out of heaven if you donâ€™t?