There is something amazing about planting a tiny seed and watching it grow into a full sized (and delicious) vegetable, knowing that the only reason that happened was because of your skill and effort. People get into gardening for the same reason they get into arts or crafts. The sense of pride that comes from creating something refined and useful out of raw materials has driven people towards these fields for centuries. The only difference between gardening and carpentry is that the plants are alive and you must think of them as such.
When you forget that a plant is a living being, you lose that nurturing touch that is necessary to keep your plants healthy and happy. Plants have certain requirements and a language of physical responses to indicate when one of those requirements isn’t being met. When you pay attention to your plants and respond to the messages they give you, the plants reward you in turn with larger and more delicious vegetables. In this way, working with your plants becomes a conversation that is mutually beneficial and richly rewarding.
Learning to listen to the plants in your garden gives you a much deeper sense of connection to the environment and the world around you. You can see the way that plants speak to us about their needs; this connection often brings a lot of compassion into a gardener’s world. It also makes it easier for some gardeners to share that compassion with other animals and their fellow man. If everyone stopped to learn this knowledge and experience, this connection to nature and the world would be a better place. If nothing else, everybody would be able to take pride in knowing how to grow their own food.