All the work, the sweat and the cursing has come to pass. Now my garden is giving back. Every morning and night, as I walk the rows, veggies seem to ripen before my eyes and finally, we have fresh produce.

I love all the things that are growing, since I planted them from seed. The packets were marked at the end of last season, and carefully stored all winter, with the days counted down on the calender until it was time to plant again. When you start growing your garden in your head…in December, it takes a loooong time to eat that first tomato.

If I had to name the most important reason for gardening without chemicals, I would have to say the kids. Not some romantic hippie notion of living in a sustainable ecosystem that we help support (although that is part of it), but mainly so the children can follow me up and down the rows, picking and eating vegetables straight off the plants.