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Healthy, Wealthy and Wise – a Story from the Garden

You know how it is in the garden. Birds singing, surrounded by nature’s blessings of abundance and resiliency… and time to think. This time those garden musings sprouted into a story inspired by the old quote about ‘healthy, wealthy and wise’, which we’ll get to in a minute. We hope you enjoy it, but first a couple more comments.

Nature’s like that… she creates the space for reflection, for appreciation, and for thinking.

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

Money is like gardening. The more you grow, the more you have. The more you work on it, the more it grows.

Money can bring freedom, but a garden…. a garden brings so much more. A garden brings health and inspiration, and at harvest time, a garden is wealth.

Standing in the garden in spring is to feel nature’s promise.
Standing in the garden in summer is to see nature’s abundance.
Standing in the garden in fall is to know nature’s nurture.
Standing in the garden in winter is to be grateful for all that has come
and all that will come again.
~LeAura Alderson


Many people for eons have been programmed to think about money as “dirty”. You know… “filthy rich”, and how those two words so often go together.  Similarly, a pervasive mindset seems to exist where the word “rich” is often preceded by “greedy”. It’s interesting, isn’t it?

Yet my experience in my 59 years of life as of this writing, is that no matter where you go, no matter what country, what profession or what income level, there are always the good, the bad and the in between. Some of the most wonderful people I know are extraordinarily wealthy and have devoted their lives to philanthropy, and helping others.

Similarly, some of the most modest of income I’ve ever known have been the ones who would give the last dollar they had, to help others. So no matter the station in life, some are flowers and some are poison ivy. ?

But all of this reminds me of a story that I once heard. I wish I could find that original story, for I’m sure it’s a better rendition than mine. If you recognize the original in this, please let me know and I’ll add info and credit for that. Until then, here is my rendition.

Lovely ornamental and edible kale.

A Tale of Two Men

There’s a story of a wealthy man in a small village. The man lived in a beautiful large villa on a hill overlooking the quaint picturesque village below. There were two men in this village who worked the fields and farm owned by the wealthy man.

Each day they’d each leave their homes to go to work. One man would look up at the hill topped by the sprawling estate, spit on the ground and mutter under his breath some derogatory comment about “the filthy rich”, and how that huge mansion was a blight on the hill.

The second man would kiss his wife goodbye, and head out the door with his son, walking him to school on his way to the fields.

He’d say to his son, “See that mansion on the hill? We’re gonna have a home like that someday. I’ve seen inside that mansion. The owner reads lots of books. He says books and hard work helped make him wealthy. That’s why you need to buckle down and do your school work. That’s why I buckle down and do my field work. Each day I’m grateful to be healthy and strong enough to work. But at night, I study like you.”

“Yes Pa,” said the boy.

And thus the years passed and the lives of the two men progressed, day after day, year after year. Each year the first man became more hunched over, bitter lines etched around his mouth, pointing downward along with his gaze.

Each year the second man, continued to stand straight and tall, looking upward at his goal… his vision of his future life, with a smile. The lines on his face pointed upward… engraving a perpetually etched smile of optimism.

Each year the man stood straight and tall, looking upward at his goal… his vision of his future life.

His son grew tall and straight, and worked after school with his father. Each year, their livestock and garden grew along with their savings. They learned how to raise dairy cows and goats, how to make and sell the cheese and milk… how to invest their earnings in another cow and another goat.

They learned how to set up a shop in the village and the wife and mother learned to make soap, candles and preserved food and to run their village shop.

She’d also take her wares to the local Farmer’s Market. ?

Then one year the second man met with his boss, the owner. He asked for his help in buying land of his own. The boss was a kind man with a good heart. He had been an immigrant… starting from nothing and had a special place in his heart for a hard worker like himself.

The owner had been watching this man and had been coaching him through the years whenever the second man asked for advice. Every week he’d borrow a new book to read and learn from, and every time he returned a book, he’d tell the owner the most important thing he learned from that book. Sometimes they’d have a chat about it over a cup of coffee.

Now, the wealthy owner helped the tall man buy his own farm. They became peers and friends, sharing many meals and conversations over the years, from one porch or the other, both from hilltops surveying their lands each day with a prayer of gratitude at the many blessings.

They started a program to help other struggling farmers improve their farms, and this became their pet project while their sons took on the running of their farm. The lands and towns around all thrived, and the village and villagers prospered.

Except the first man. He continued working hard… he always seemed to work hard but never get ahead, and he complained about it incessantly too.

He didn’t understand how to save and invest. He didn’t understand how to make the good in his life grow. He didn’t understand how to “plant” his money and have it grow into so much more, in the way nature teaches us abundance. He grew more bitter and stooped day by day.

He didn’t understand, and he never asked.

He’d tell his friends that the second man had always been a goody two shoes… and kissed up to the boss… that he never really worked as hard. Until one day his withered and worn heart finally stopped. He died a bitter old man, long before his time, mostly alone, excepting for a few old cronies like him, struggling to make ends meet, and belittling the bastards that done this to their buddy… working him too hard.

And thus ends, a tale of two men… one sad and one glad.

The thing is that there is plenty of bad in the world. But there is plenty of good in the world.

Whatever we focus on is what grows in our lives.

Gardeners know to focus on growing healthy plants and the weeds pretty much take care of themselves with a little help from a happy gardener.

When we focus on the wealth of health and abundance in the garden and the blessings in our lives, that’s what grows most.

So while some of our most popular articles are those about earning a living from your yard garden or small farm, money isn’t typically a topic we cover here on But it’s important because it affects all of us and the absence or presence of it contributes to our freedom to live the life we want to live, and to afford the land to live, love and grow on.

Food is an energy that fuels your body
Money is an energy that fuels your freedom.
Both are important, so tend them well.

And gardening…?

Gardening  is an effort that feeds the soul!
~LeAura Alderson

garden quotes, tulips
Tender tulips… delicate yet strong. Sheer beauty!

Some of our most popular articles are those that talk about ways to earn a living or supplemental income from growing things. If that interests you, you may enjoy this article.

GROWING FOR PROFIT: If you’re interested in learning about earning money from gardening or farming, we invite you to join our Facebook group: Planting for Retirement.  And also visit the new PlantingForRetirement website

Wishing you abundant green gardens.

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