Get in the Garden!

7 Jun

As we make our way into June we’ll once again explore some broader topics related to nature… In previous years we’ve written about composting, World Environment Day, soil conservation, forests and community gardens.  Feel free to check back in our June archives if you missed out.

This month’s focus on nature will kick off with a few motivating tips to get you gardening plus an inspiring write up from care 2 make a difference on some of the side-benefits of gardening…

Why get in the garden?

  1. To save money!  Grow your own food so that you don’t have to shop for it.
  2. You can’t get more local than food grown in your own neighborhood, backyard or balcony.
  3. Growing your own fruits and vegetables means that you know exactly what does and does not go into your food and exactly where it comes from.
  4. You will end up eating more healthy fruits and vegetables in quantity and in variety!
  5. You can teach children where their food actually comes from and that it doesn’t come form the supermarket but from the soil, the earth that we all depend on.

“Aside from improving our environment and having your own source of flowers, fruit and vegetables, we often overlook the other benefits that gardening provides us.

To start with, gardening really is exercise. The physical benefits of gardening are often discounted because people don’t think of it as “real” exercise. But, gardening offers the same benefits as other forms of exercise do. Did you know that you can burn as many calories in 45 minutes of gardening as you can in 30 minutes of aerobics? And depending on the task that you are doing, you are using many different muscle groups, and increasing your flexibility and strength.

Working in the garden reduces stress. Connecting with nature, digging in the dirt, even weeding is one of the best stress reducers I have found. When I first started gardening, I dreaded the thought of weeding by hand. I thought it was an unnecessary and unpleasant part of gardening. As the years have gone by, I have found that weeding is the one thing that lets me totally unwind and makes me forget about everything else. I am so intent on getting those weeds out of my garden that I become intensely focused on it.

This brings me to another gardening benefit, it allows me to unplug and forces me to slow down the pace of my life. We are all so plugged in and connected that working in the garden is the one way that I can get away from the constant barrage of information being connected brings with it.

One of the most surprising things that gardening has done for me is to teach me how to have more patience. Think about it. You can’t rush nature. If you sow seeds, or plant seedlings, you can’t make them grow faster than they are able to grow just because you are limited on time or by pressuring them to grow faster. They grow at the pace they are supposed to grow at, no faster or slower.

Gardening also releases our creativity, often without us even realizing it. Planning the garden for the year or the season, choosing flower colors and plant palettes, and arranging the fresh flowers from your garden all require you to use your creative side.”

Read more at care2.com

Why do you garden?  Leave us a comment!

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