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Why do gardeners like gardens? And why do some people like fishing?


John Kass asks (inside his Chicago Tribune column of July 6, 2016 where he asks in his title Call me crazy, but I sweep my garden.) He was striving for the perfect tomato this year, having covered the tomato patch with black landscape fabric. He then planted many tomato plants plus basil and onions. And then he swept this garden.

One reason for his garden was to turn off his mind, by concentrating on this garden. But he no longer can go fishing as he previously did for relaxation. He writes that a lifetime of being a columnist has ruined the nerve endings in his fingertips, that he has carpal tunnel syndrome. Some days typing a column is like poking a bed of sharp nails. Thus he also cannot tie a fishing line to a leader.

But what he can do is tie stretch tape to a stake and wrap a tomato vine, or use bamboo sticks to help train cucumber plants or trim the plants. He can relieve his mind, get away from the everyday worries and concerns, grow the perfect tomato. And he can sweep.

I enjoyed reading this column because I think he found good solutions towards his goal. He realized his limitations with his fingers, while still wanting to have a successful home garden. While this solution for fishing around Chicago, with limited coordination with his fingers, was not as successful, creating a home garden was. His modifications included the stretch tape, the bamboo sticks and being able to sweep.

I have met many aging adults living in their homes, who have encountered difficulties doing things they previously did for fun, for hobbies, for work. The vast majority did the same as John, they found a way to adapt the task. They used different materials, they changed the height at which they worked, they found new products that helped.

What about you?

Call me crazy, but I sweep my garden by John Kass
Chicago Tribune December 14, 2016