Unless you have your own walled garden and garden staff ( and all of the above do) then you can't just step out into the garden and pick a bunch of veg for a salad or a soup or for Sunday lunch with out a significant amount of time invested in digging, sowing, weeding and general husbandry.
Don't believe me? Try scattering some parsley seeds on the ground and six weeks later nip out into the garden and try and find the parsley let alone pick it!
So the pay off for all the hard work is the fresh food ( and it really is very fresh)
I've got dirt under my fingernails just about all the time. I spend my free hours gently sweating in work boots, denim and tatty t-shirts. I dream of carrots and spades, I fret about weeds growing on my land whilst I'm at work. I measure weed encroachment between visits to my plot. I can tell the difference between various ages of horse poop and I have a minimum of two baths on Saturdays and Sundays.