Why Gardening Can Improve Your Health
My family and I try to grow as much of our food as possible. The benefits of having your own garden are immense. I’d be happy to chat with you about how gardening may change your health and that of the planet for the better.
We love how we walk into our garden and pick fresh produce for our meals every day. You have access to fresh veggies that don’t tend to last long when you bring them home from the store (think lettuce, chard and kale). Your garden is 100% Covid19 free, and no masks are required. And there are no tastier tomatoes than the ones you grow, pick and eat on the way back to the kitchen. It may also be possible to plant enough fruit trees and bushes to have almost year round fruit.
Vitamin D is one important hormone. It is critical for bone, muscle, and brain health, to name a only a few. And we miraculously make it when the life-giving sun touches our skin. Now I certainly recommend only a safe amount of sun, and wearing a hat and sunscreen on the high-risk parts of your face and ears. But getting outside to garden gives us free vitamins, even before we eat the food.
Gardening burns roughly 200-400 calories per hour. And some of the positions you get into to reach that perfect plum or pull that weed are reminiscent of yoga without the yoga pants (though I do recommend wearing pants in the garden). And there is probably no monthly gym fee at your garden.
Studies have shown that just looking at plants reduces anxiety, depression, fear, anger, and pain. Blood pressure comes down, the pulse slows, tension unwinds. Until you see that the cat pooped in your arugula bed again. But besides that, it’s really good for your mental health.
“Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating.”
— Wendell Berry