Day 19: Grow Something

This post is part of the 21 Days to a Manlier Green series

I grew up with a garden, a house with flower beds and herb gardens, and a room with cacti and other easy to grow plants. I knew how to grow a plant from a seed and take care of it. My parents cultivated my green thumb just as much as my ability to read and write. Both are valuable skills.

Do you garden? Have a house plant?

Agriculture gave birth to modern society. We settled down and began cultivating crops and villages sprang up around our fields. These villages became towns and then grew into cities. In the modern city, however, plants seem to be at odds with cement.

Today, help to reclaim our 15,000 year heritage of growing stuff. Cultivate your green thumb. Grow something.

4 Reasons to Grow Something

1. For Food

I’m all about utility. In the words of my father, “flowers are pretty, but I can’t eat them.” I like to grow things that I can use. I like growing my own vegetables and herbs.

Growing your own food provides you with a sense of self-reliance. You prove that you are able to help feed yourself, a pretty important skill – or so I think.

Garden Tower RipeTomatoFood that you grow tastes better. The taste is improved by the fact that your produce and herbs are the freshest possible and you get to control the pesticides (or lack-thereof) and nutrients that feed the plant. Additionally, the taste is heightened by the satisfaction gained from raising a tiny little seed into food.

You don’t have to live in the country to grow your own food. There are tons of plants and herbs that can be grown either indoors or in containers on your porch. I recommend kale, basil, green onions, or cherry tomatoes to start.

2. For Happiness

Growing a plant will make you happier. Humans are animals. We evolved outside, before there was an ‘inside’, surrounded by nature. Modern conveniences are great and make our lives easier, but they can’t replicate the benefits we derive from green spaces.

Green spaces have been shown to improve our health and happiness and are an important part of a sustainable urban environment.

Moving the green into your home will have the same positive change. Humans weren’t built for plaster walls and synthetic light. Help buffer some of your sterile, manmade environment with the life of a plant.

take a hikeGrowing a plant will also make your happier because of the time you put into caring for your plant. Caring for something besides yourself will make you a happier person and train you nurturing muscles.

Owning a plant is a responsibility. It isn’t a big task to keep a plant alive, but the routine of watering a plant and checking on it brings a little structure and ritual to our sometimes chaotic lives. That little plant depends on you. Don’t let it down!

3. Cleaner Air

Air is pretty important. But, how clean is the air you are breathing? Most of us spend a lot of time indoors. The air we are breathing indoors is often dirtier than outside. This dirty air is impacting your health and happiness.

Bringing plants into your home not only helps to bring some green into you home, but they also help clean the air. These 15 houseplants will help improve indoor air quality.

4. For the Ladies

Want into impress a girl that you bring back to your place? Own a plant.

Owning a few house plants sends a message:

  • You are stable enough in your life that you have invested in plants
  • You are dependable enough to take care of plants
  • You are the type of person that cares for other living things

Anyone looking for a significant other wants someone who is stable, somewhat settled (if even in the short-term), dependable, and caring. A plant will help you show it – but you’ll also need to back it up with other actions.

Cashew Basil Pesto on Zucchini PastaAlso, how about taking what you’ve grown and cooking that girl (or guy) a meal? Grow some basil and then prepare a pesto dish (Cashew Basil Pesto Recipe). Showing that you can grow food, even minimally, and then cook food shows that you are a provider.

Owning a house plant won’t make up for a shitty personality, but it just might give you the chance to show how great a personality you have.


Cultivate the soil and your green thumb. What have you grown lately?