Anyone who knows me knows I'm a country boy who lives in the city.

There's nothing better than going into the backyard and sinking your teeth into a fresh ripe tomato picked straight from the vine. When hard work pays off, the fruits of the labor taste that much sweeter.

So why do I enjoy gardening so much? It helps me balance my mental health with the stresses of everyday life.

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You see, a garden builds patience and patience is a virtue in this nonstop crazy world. You have to give your plants plenty of sunlight, water, and time. Add in a little love and you've discovered the recipe to a successful harvest.

For the past three years, my fiance and I have dabbled in just about every vegetable that can be grown in a substantially small patch of area. From jalapeños to summer squash and even cucumbers that eventually get pickled. Sure, it takes plenty of practice, but once the technique and timing are down, you learn to love the art of gardening.

For me, it's taking the time to enjoy the outdoors.

Planting on a picture-perfect day makes all the difference and the Vitamin D is nothing less than a plus. One of my favorite crops is lettuce and spinach, especially when it comes time for dinner and I'm craving a side salad to go with my burger or pork chops. I can simply walk outside and clip a few lettuce leaves, some cherry tomatoes, a fresh cucumber, and even a bell pepper once it's ready to be picked.

Plus, the more you farm, the more you save.

Once my crops are ready to harvest, I spend less time shopping in the produce section at the grocery store and more time taking in the satisfaction of a product of hard work. My suggestion and advice to the world- plant more flowers, grow more vegetables, and discover your green thumb. Be careful with chemicals and pesticides, respect the bees, and include more nature in your life.

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