7 Reasons Why Gardening Should Be Your New Hobby

7 Reasons Why Gardening Should Be Your New Hobby

Gardens are radical and you should start one.
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Many people think of gardening as boring, time-consuming, complicated, or, Heaven forbid, a retirement hobby for old people who don't play golf. In reality, gardening is an enjoyable pastime that benefits not only the gardener but also the space around him or her. The following are seven reasons why you should consider gardening as a hobby for yourself.

1. It's basically free therapy.

Think about it -- soaking up the vitamin D, getting out your anger by breaking up the soil, and resting in the peaceful presence of your plant babies. Is there anything better? It's the perfect activity for people who need to lift their spirits or just want to create their own natural sanctuary.

2. It's good for your health.

While gardening's not an intense activity, it does give you the opportunity to get out there and sweat a bit, not to mention all the fresh, nutritious vegetables you'll have readily available!

3. It's a great way to beautify any space.

The best kind of beauty is always natural beauty. I mean, have you SEEN plants? Nothing can match the charm of a flower, or the uplifting green of a thriving leaf. And, since gardening can be done anywhere, it's perfect for drab, unused spaces that need sprucing up.

4. It's a great way to save money.

For the same price of a couple of tomatoes, you can buy a packet of seeds and grow dozens of tomatoes per plant. It's crazy how many fruits or veggies a single plant can produce. In fact, it's the best return on investment I can think of.

5. It makes a difference for the environment (even more than you think).

Of course, the more plants we propagate, the more greenhouse gas we can eliminate from the atmosphere, but beyond that, the less we rely on out-of-state and foreign produce, the fewer fossil fuels we consume. It takes a staggering amount of energy -- much of it unsustainable -- to industrially sow, propagate, harvest, preserve, and transport fresh produce on the massive scale we do today. Compare that to the near-invisible carbon footprint of a backyard garden, and it's clear that the world would be better off if more people relied on their own gardens for produce.

6. You'll never get bored.

There's always something new to do in a garden. Each season brings its own tasks and opportunities: Starting seeds in late winter and early spring, sowing in late spring and early summer, weeding, watering, and fertilizing in summer, harvesting in late summer and fall, and starting all over again by planning over the winter. You can even branch out into activities such as plant breeding or competition.

7. It's surprisingly creative.

Sure, the care of plants is rooted in science, but there are endless ways to make it an art. Create a decorative fairy garden, or grow a canopy from sunflowers and morning glory. Play with an infinite combination of shapes and colors for stunning beds, beautiful bouquets, and culinary creations.



If the many ways gardening can enrich your life aren't enough to convince you to go plant something right now, check out this rad ranunculus and catch flower fever.

Cover Image Credit: Gardening Ideas

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Bill Haslam, Do Better: Cyntoia Brown's Recent Sentence Is Egregious And Disgusting

Between a traumatized, abused minor and a man who committed what's considered one of the most heinous and torturous of crimes, who do you stand for?

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After the pushback against the #MeToo movement, the abuse against gymnasts at the hands at Larry Nassar, Brock Turner, Kesha's case against Dr. Luke, Dr. Blasey Ford's case against Kavanaugh and Anita Hill's case against Clarence Thomas, I thought I had reached my point of pure disgust at the way sexual violence is handled in this country.

I was wrong.

The case of Cyntoia Brown has been brought back to light because of a clemency hearing. If you haven't heard, back in 2004, Brown killed the man in self-defense in the heat of the moment who bought her and raped her. She had been living a life of rape, drugging, emotional abuse, and forced prostitution for years and once she finally had the opportunity to defend herself from what she expected to be her own murder, she was arrested. She was in survival mode. Now, she's set to be on a life sentence of 51 years, leaving her unable to have the chance of parole until age 69.

All I can say is, no wonder survivors of abuse and sexual assault don't defend themselves or report. To those of you who didn't know or refuse to listen, please listen and try to learn today. Brown was a 16-year-old girl who had been revictimized, abused and was facing death. She was terrified, leaning on coping mechanisms such as laughter to keep her alive in the midst of utter trauma. She did her best to survive and find safety.

During the time she's already spent in prison, she's worked towards an associate's degree, in which she has a 4.0 GPA. She encourages others to keep up with their education. Even the previous prosecutor of her case believes she deserves a second chance. An entire family is willing to have her stay with them because they love and respect her so much. People with all kinds of backgrounds have fought for her and her rights.

But now, she will serve 51 years (!!!!) in prison, which is the most excessive, egregious, disgusting thing I can imagine, especially since aspects like her mental health issues weren't discussed in the case. I know I can be dramatic to be funny sometimes, but I wholeheartedly mean every single word and adjective I say here.

I say these things as a survivor, but more importantly, as a human being. I say these things because I have empathy and because like everyone else, I have been hurt and scared and have endured tough struggles and pain.

The release of Brown is now in the hands of Bill Haslam, the governor of Tennessee. I urge you all to call him and support the immediate release of Brown. His phone number and what to say are listed on this website.

If you stand on the side of justice, if you realize the importance of context, if you couldn't look Cyntoia's 16-year-old self in the eyes and tell her she's a murderer, please sign this petition as call Haslam as mentioned above, and raise awareness of this sickening issue through social media, group chats, daily conversations, organizations you're involved in and more.

Between a traumatized, abused minor and a man who committed what's considered one of the most heinous and torturous of crimes, who do you stand for?

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