'To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves'. Gandhi
Those of us who are passionate about the environment and gardening know this quote from the great man to be wise and true.
On the other hand, we know that there is something romantic in Gandhi's view that does not take account of the sheer miserableness of being outdoors on a bleak and windswept day in January!
Sunday was a great example. Although milder than it has been, there was a raw wind blowing. The leeks, carrots and parsnips that we dug up made our hands cold to the bone. Each vegetable came encased in dark, sticky mud.
And underfoot, the bark chips had been incorporated into the soil and so each step taken encased shoes in mud and made walking treacherous.
And I hadn't taken anything to wipe my hands on and hadn't had the sense to put on gloves.
So I drove home chilled with muddy hands and wondered whether the supermarket shoppers had got it right...