Grow Something | Tomorrow’s World — July/August 2024

Grow Something

Comment on this article

Adding agriculture to your life, even if only indoors, can bring real benefits to your family’s health—physically and spiritually.

Technology has made our lives more comfortable, convenient, and pain-free than ever before. We marvel at the power of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and a seemingly limitless flow of information—literally at our fingertips! Yet many are alarmed at our society’s growing disconnection from the natural world. Many of us live, work, and play in a world of endless screen interactions. As technology advances, that disconnection will only increase.

Yet, at the most fundamental level, we as human beings are truly part of the creation—the world of seeds, plants, and dirt. Even the word “humanity” has echoes of our origins, as it is derived from the Latin root humanus, which comes from a word meaning literally “earthly being” (“human (adj.),” Online Etymology Dictionary, December 18, 2023), and humus refers to “the dark organic material in soils” (“humus,” Mankind was created by the Eternal God with the potential to live forever. We live as “clay models” and this earth is our training ground to prepare for that destiny (2 Corinthians 5:1). And the very first job given to our forefather Adam was to “tend and keep” a part of the earth (Genesis 2:15).

There are real and practical benefits for you and your family to enjoy by making living, growing things a part of your life. What are some of the benefits of cultivating a lifestyle that involves caring for plants? Consider the following.

Gardening Is Good for Your Health

The physical benefits of working outdoors in a vegetable or flower garden are obvious: walking, bending, lifting, and moving. But it’s also good for our mental well-being. Dr. Charles Hall, Ph.D., professor at Texas A&M University, has done extensive research on how plants and gardening can improve both physical and mental health. He presented it in an article published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture. Here are some of the positive effects Dr. Hall identified with growing things:

  • Anxiety and stress reduction
  • Attention deficit recovery
  • Decreased depression
  • Enhanced memory retention
  • Improved happiness and life satisfaction
  • Mitigation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Increased creativity, productivity, and
  • attention
  • Reduced effects of dementia
  • Enhanced self-esteem

(“The positive effects of gardening on mental health,”, April 25, 2022).

But you don’t even have to go outside to reap the positive effects of growing plants. Inside plants can create the same benefits, as described in the article “A Hobby for All Seasons: 7 Science-Backed Benefits of Indoor Plants,” which states, “Indoor gardening relieves stress, boosts creativity, productivity, and focus, and promotes recovery. There’s some evidence that houseplants may positively influence the air quality in your home as well…. Sharing your living or working space with living, ‘breathing’ plant life can make your environment a happier, healthier place to be.”

Are you and your family stressed? Anxious? Why not work a little caring for greenery into your life? In an age of anxiety, growing greenery is soothing and calming.

Growing Food Can Save You Money

We all must eat—so why not try your hand at growing plants that provide food for you and your household? When you consider the cost savings from growing a simple tomato, it’s shocking how much you can save by growing it yourself. A tomato plant may cost several times the cost of one tomato—but if that plant can produce a couple dozen tomatoes, you’ll recoup the higher cost many times over!

And if you plant seeds, you can grow literally hundreds of tomatoes for less than the cost of one tomato plant! You can lower the cost even more if you buy “heirloom” seeds, which can be dried and saved from year to year and stored for a future season.

As inflation eats into your household’s budget, growing your own food—even a small amount—can reap big financial benefits for you and your family.

Seeing Seeds Sprout Is Miraculous

Growing things also gives us the beautiful opportunity to witness the miracle of life itself. Think about it: Has any man-made invention ever come close to the “high-tech” capacities of the common seed? That seed—be it of a tomato plant, a zinnia flower, or a towering, majestic Ponderosa pine tree—has all the genetic code locked into it to reproduce the same kind of plant it came from. And often, given the right conditions, seeds may lie dormant, “storing” that valuable data for weeks, months, or years. Some seeds are even thousands of years old, and still grow (“Scientists in Israel grow date plants from 2,000-year-old seeds,” The Guardian, February 5, 2020)!

What an astounding miracle! And we can witness it ourselves, just by planting a seed in a cup with dirt, watering it, and placing it on a sunny windowsill. If you have children, do this with them. Teach them about the creation. Explain where they themselves came from—not from slime, but made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26; 2:7). And then let them plant a seed, water it, and be amazed when it emerges a few days later! It’s a powerful testimony to the living quality of God’s creation, of which we are all a part. Children can come to see for themselves that evolutionary theory is no match for reality—the grandeur and power of God.

From Seeds to Blossoms: Connections to the Real World

In recent years, online farming simulations such as FarmVille, Hay Day, and Harvest Honors have become big business—to the point that, in 2023, the “global farming game market” was valued at over $370 million (“Farming Game Market,” Econ Market Research, February 2024). Kermit Ball, community coordinator for Giants Software, describes the appeal of his company’s Farming Simulator:

You can relax and chat with friends while playing, but you can also never run out of tasks…. So many people talk about the calming nature of just working away at your fields. It’s a game you can truly get lost in. You start playing and working on your fields while listening to the sounds of farm equipment and nature combined and it kind of chills you out, then hours pass by without you even noticing (“Coziness, control, and crops: Farming simulators are the ultimate escapism,” Digital Trends, August 20, 2022).

Clearly, our children can be easily motivated to play games of virtual farming. Why not encourage them to try the real thing—grow a real tomato, a real flower—all while touching, smelling, and feeling the creation?

We as Christians await Jesus Christ’s soon-coming millennial reign, where “everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid” (Micah 4:4). Does this mean everyone will be a farmer? Not likely. But it describes a deep connection to the land—the end of sterile environments that foster worry and discontent.

Picturing the coming Kingdom of God should give us a glimpse of how we can improve our lives today, even just a little bit. Most of us can introduce a few more living plants—a foretaste of the Millennium—into our lives even now. For the sake of your health, your family’s health, your finances, and your relationship with your Creator, consider making some living greenery even more a part of your life. Grow something!


View All