What’s healthy for you and the environment, reduces stress, creates beauty and can be enjoyed by beginners and experts alike? It’s gardening!
With all the new live-streaming and on-demand exercise classes, meditation apps and step counters available to us, gardening seems like a quaint activity, but this quaint pursuit has wonderful benefits that should be explored. More and more young people are discovering the benefits and joys of gardening which are almost too many to mention as they span the physical, psychological, and spiritual.
After a long day tethered to your desk and electronic devices, gardening can provide much needed respite. Fresh air, natural light, and vitamin D all help you feel refreshed and provide real physical benefits. The movement you do when you garden helps to keep you limber as you stretch, dig, carry, and bend. After all, what water yields the most beautiful garden? Perspiration!
Gardening boots self-esteem as you witness the bounty of your nurturing. And the healthy vegetables and fruits you grow taste delicious and encourage healthier eating. Stress is reduced as you tune out everything but the task at hand and focus on the job in front of you while your senses absorb the sights, sounds, and feel of nature. Gardening can help put things in perspective as a daily reminder of the seasons and the circle of life.
It can be a great way to interact with your community, be it working in a community garden, joining a local gardening club or an online gardening community. It can bring you closer to your neighbors as you discuss what they are planting and what is working and not working in your shared neighborhood environment. But gardening can be a solitary act too, if you wish.
It encourages your creative mind as you create beauty that you can enjoy in all of its stages. What better place to meditate, contemplate, and unwind than gazing at things you are growing!
You don’t have to have acres or even a large garden to reap all these benefits. A few potted plants on a patio or balcony or even a five-gallon bucket can provide all the space you need. Tomatoes, squash, potatoes, lettuce and salad greens, hot and sweet peppers, cucumbers, radishes and many different kinds of herbs all do well in pots or small containers.
Of course, growing vegetables are not the only plants with healthy benefits. Flowers are equally as wonderful to grow. Not only do they provide beauty and color to your outdoor environment, many are finding their way to your dining table as edible flowers are back in vogue. Please remember that not all flowers are edible and some may be dangerous to consume so do your homework before eating.
Free bouquets are a wonderful gift to a friend or yourself. And flower gardens help breed biodiversity by attracting insects which in turn are food for a large number of species. Also, do not underestimate the power of flowers in your vegetable gardens. Flowers have been shown to increase vegetable yields and minimize pest damage because they attract beneficial pollinators and predators.
With all the information we have, there is no reason not to grow things organically. It will ensure that what you grow will be safe for you, your family and pets, and the environment. There are many options and websites that can help you find organic alternatives for any gardening questions or issues so please make sure you check out this important decision.
Lastly, when the cold winter months keep you inside, there is nothing like looking through online seed catalogs and dreaming of what you will create when the weather warms up!