Frugal Lessons From The Past: The Art of Gardening

History can provide some of the best lessons to help us figure out solutions to today’s problems.

Concerning our finances, thrift, frugality and simple living there are tried and true bedrock principals that we should never forget.

This post is part of a series that focuses on some of those principals by going to source materials for inspiration.

The following was written by Iowan and Pulitzer Prize winner Frank Luther Mott (1886-1964). It is taken from the January, 1962 issue of The Palimpsest, where he reminisces about living in small town Iowa in the 1890’s. He reminds us not only that gardening is a great frugal option to save money on groceries but also names some of the joys that come with growing your own food.

“Many of us were, in a way, small farmers. We surely raised big gardens. In my family, each of us had an individual section of the family garden for his own; and though the general plan came from our parents, each child had his own responsibility and his own pride in what he got out of his plot. I acquired at that time a passion for gardening that has been with me all my life. I came to regard the raising of vegetables as a creative art – something dreamed up and followed through from seed catalog to dinner table. To see the seeds I have planted breaking through the ground has for many years brought a new excitement with every recurrent Spring and Summer. Hoeing in my garden has seemed to me a calm and philosophic exercise, useful and healthful, and mildly relaxing and satisfying. And picking the first succulent green peas, bringing to the house the first fat red tomatoes, snapping off the first roasting ears: these are the climax of the year for the kitchen gardener.”

Related Reading:

Frugal Lessons From The Past: Frugality in the Spiritual Life

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