Gardening a Path in Life


Trevor Clark

While waltzing around my garden, I am carefully looking to see if there is anything out of place. As I am looking around, I notice that my zucchini is almost ready to be picked. “That’s going to taste great with some buttered noodles!” I think to myself. Just then I look up. I am surrounded by several types of trees that completely encapsulate my house. My garden is quite tiny, and is surrounded by several types of flowers and grasses. It sits just down a small hill from my house’s backyard. Years later, I have moved and now I do not own a garden, but I loved being there. I loved being surrounded by all these different elements. Between the assorted colors to see, and all the different smells of things like dirt, it made me feel like I was at peace.  

Gardening has shaped some of my life skills, such as how responsible I now am. I would tend to my garden every day and nurture the garden myself. This taught me how to be on top of my obligations, and to have awareness of my responsibilities. Gardening also has built up some of my problem-solving skills, such as being able to figure out, manage, and diagnose problems. An example of these skills would be when an infestation of insects were eating away at my plants. Once I noticed this, I was determined to solve the issue—and more importantly — learn how to prevent it in the future.  

Skills that I have learned from my garden include the ability to multitask and prioritize how on top of work I am. When I am assigned schoolwork, I am always aware of requirements like the due dates and scheduling. Despite taking every college class that my school offers, I can balance my time; I can complete my schoolwork and still have time for extracurriculars such as sports and student council.  

In my food and nutrition class, we had a project called a “heat and eat.” In this project, students made food for teachers. Teachers would be given menus of the different foods the students designed. Then, each week students curate one of the many foods that they had designed. We would cook, box, and deliver these. The food that I chose was chicken cordon bleu. When it was my week to make this, we had a lot of orders. When I walked in the room, I looked around and saw a substitute. “Oh no…” I groaned; this meant that I would have to assign my peers jobs and I would be in charge of this getting done. I was able to take charge and get all the chicken ready and fully prepared. It was incredibly stressful due to time constraints and other students who did not know what they were doing. Being able to create and lead a team of people was an experience I would never have thought I could do. I was able to do it, and I am proud of this moment. 

Gardening will always be something that I enjoy doing. I will keep the moments and memories with me forever, and I owe my current skills to these experiences. Although I do not have the garden anymore, I can now be like a plant in my garden and take the next steps to grow and evolve into what I want to be.