Every year since I can remember, my mom has planted a garden in the backyard. She works nights and sleeps during the day, so any help she can get with taking care of the garden never goes unappreciated.
All the garden really needs is to be watered every day and then when the fruits/veggies grow, they need to be picked. Simple tasks, but they make take longer than expected and consistency is key.
My oldest sister bought some $1 flower growing kits from Target that came with a small ceramic pot, growing medium, and a small bag of seeds with instructions. I decided to give it a shot sometime while I was still in school this past semester, taking it to school with me and then bringing it home at the end of the year.
The plants grew a little bit, but I didn't think they were getting enough sun in my dorm room.
When I brought it home, I put it on a windowsill in the kitchen right in the sun, watering it about every other day. Once it grew to a few inches high, I replanted it in a bigger container and kept up with the routine.
Then, this summer, I spent three weeks in Iceland and asked my sisters to keep my plant alive while I was gone. When I returned, I noticed it had grown a lot and I got really excited. No flowers grew yet, but I figured it was only a matter of time.
Shortly after, I replanted again, only this pot was too big to fit on the windowsill. I placed the flower pot on the grill outside and checked on it every day, watering it when it looked like it needed it.
There was one thing that felt weird to me. Why was I going outside every day just to water my own flowers when the whole garden of veggies was dry as bone and baking in the sun?
So I decided I would water the garden every day. It was kind of a hassle to unravel the hose, bring it from the side yard, to the backyard, to the opposite side yard, and then to ravel it back up, but I knew it would be well worth it in the end.
We grow a pretty good variety every year; peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, green beans, and sometimes corn, in addition to flowers of course. This year, we're even growing spinach, eggplant, and pumpkins!
Watering the garden every day, watching my flowers and our vegetables grow and change every day gave me such an undeniable sense of pride. Not to mention growing our own plants is cheaper and healthier - we paid the price of the seeds and that's it, plus we never use pesticides or any chemicals.
Growing this garden taught me patience. That good things don't come quickly. That you can revive [some] plants with extra love (trust me, I did it) but you can't try to do it too fast or you'll kill them faster.
Sometimes you get lucky and some plants will even regrow from a past season without you having to do much extra work. Growing our own also makes cooking dinner that much easier, because if we have vegetables at home, that's one less thing we have to buy.
In conclusion, grow local, eat locally.