We dip our toes in with one or two simple plants -- beans or peppers or squash. Maybe an easy-care herb like basil. And before we realize, we're hooked. Addicted for life.
It's just such a rush to harvest food you've grown and tended. Studies have shown that the act of plucking fruit signals the release of endorphins in the brain. That's why it feels so good.
One of the first experiences of this for my husband, Kevin, and me was with black raspberries. When we bought our house, we discovered a handful of brambles growing wild near the old stump of a once massive tree.
At first we weeded them and took pains to mow carefully around them. Then we pruned and caged them like peonies, fretting and fussing like mother hens.
Within a couple of years, I signed up for a berry care Master Gardener workshop. We began cultivating a second patch on the property -- and bragging to whoever would listen about how many quarts of black raspberries we harvested. We just couldn't get enough.
Today, those berries are dwarfed by the volume and variety of everything else we grow.
All it took to get us here were a few wild black raspberry canes. And we were hooked.
Addicted for life.