Hey there! My name is Kendall; I am a proud member of team Vita, and super excited to welcome you to our blog! Here, we will delve into the world of “why.” As someone who is curious by nature, I have a desire to learn about anything and everything.
I’ve always been interested in gardening, it was something my mom and grandma invested lots of their spare time into. I grew up in an old farmhouse in rural Ontario; meaning my closest neighbour was a cow. Not that my younger self would agree, but it was a great experience for me since this led me to live a great deal of my childhood outdoors. The farmer in which my parents rented the house from was also very generous, allotting my family a small portion of his field for our personal gardening use. On top of that, he also allowed us to garden around the house and shed (which my mom took full advantage of).
Despite gardening being so prevalent in my childhood, it is not a practice I have carried into adulthood. I think I felt overwhelmed by just thinking of all the effort it takes to be a great gardener, and that held me back from even trying. Now that I’m more settled into adulthood, I have been looking for any hobbies I can invest my time into and gardening is a theme that keeps presenting itself.
One of the major problems with learning to garden is my lack of confidence. All these things I’m going to have to learn, all the mental capacity that this new information will take, it seems daunting! Where can I even begin? How can I even start to learn if I don’t know what to learn? What are some good resources that I can trust? I think that’s probably my biggest hindrance, and why I thought it would be important to share because I’m sure these thoughts aren’t just unique to myself.
I think what it really comes down to is the need to shift from the focus of all the effort that it will take for me to become a skilled gardener to the focus of the associated benefits of gardening regardless of my skill set. After all, skills come with time, and I must learn to both accept and appreciate the process. So with that, let’s talk about some of the benefits of gardening!
You’ll get plenty of exercise!
To start with, it gets you active. Whether you’re doing some light gardening or putting that extra leg work in, you will be getting a full body workout! Digging, shoveling, picking and pulling weeds, gardening requires a healthy range of different activities that gives you a great workout without even realizing it!
You’ll improve your bone strength and fight against disease!
Most gardening takes place outdoors where you’ll be exposed to lots of sun and fresh air. Of course, we’re making sure to put our sunscreen on, but we need to take some time to appreciate all the sunlight we’re absorbing! Vitamin D helps our bodies to maintain calcium which improves our overall bone, teeth, and immune health.
Beyond your bone health, you’ll also find that you’re improving the quality of the air in your home. Research has shown that homes with indoor plants on average have less dust, mold, and allergens than a home without!
To add more depth to the impact gardening has on our health, doctors have known for a long time the positive effects that exercise has on healthy cognitive function. Now, studies have been conducted and prove that gardening can have positive impacts on our brain health! This is likely caused by a variety of factors that gardeners are exposed to (such as exercise, sunlight, and breathing in better air).
You’ll be happier! Less stress
Gardening is not just good for your body, but it’s good for your soul! As you’re coming to learn, there have been so many studies done on the benefits of gardening, many of which are based around mental health. It’s been proven that gardeners can experience higher levels of serotonin from natural bacteria found in the soil!
Being able to focus on something where you can see quick developments gives you something to look forward to. Especially in recent times, it’s easy to feel unmotivated from the lull of everything that’s going on around us. These are stressful times, folks, and everyone is feeling it. Gardening is proven to reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety, and I think our world is ready for a healthy dose of happiness right now.
Something that the pandemic has really opened our eyes to, but a topic of discussion that should be brought up more: food security. How scary is it when you walk into your local supermarket and see the shelves empty? I know the first time I saw that it was like I opened the door into a dystopian universe. How I’ve come so accustomed to having everything made and ready for me to simply purchase and take home. This was a quick look into what a bleak future could mean for me if I didn’t start to learn these life skills.
Not only will you and your family have a better sense of food security, but you can also lower your household waste by growing your own produce! By growing your own veggies, you will be lowering your grocery bill, eating well, and you can compost any produce you aren’t using (and reap the benefits that come with it!)
You’ll be more connected with nature!
This one resonates strongly with me. There is a distinct disconnect between modern life and nature, but gardening can have you outside, interacting with your environment. By default, you’ll end up gaining a deeper understanding and more respect for what the Earth can do. When you’re watching a seedling blossom into a flower, or once you harvest the vegetables you’ve been working on for a season, you’ll be in awe of what nature is truly capable of.
Life wouldn’t be possible without nature, and yet we don’t actively seek opportunities to strengthen that bond. Gardening is a great way to nurture that relationship, as well as taming any eco-anxiety that you may feel. A great way to counteract greenhouse gas emissions is by planting. Plants absorb CO2 and in return emit oxygen, and as we already know, purifies the air.
Allow your creativity to flow!
There are so many different aspects to gardening, but one of the most beautiful things is that it’s such a customizable activity. You can tailor it to fit your needs, to suit your schedule, the level of physical activity you desire, all the way down to the aesthetic you want. Gardening is suitable for all ages and lifestyles, and can be accomplished successfully both inside and outside the home. As you garden, you’ll learn what plants work for you to suit your needs and improve your life!
In Conclusion - GARDENING IS GOOD FOR YOU!
Gardening, whether inside your home or out, adds beauty, texture, and comfort to your life. With such a diverse spectrum of plants available, you have so many options to suit your lifestyle needs. While maintaining the aesthetic that is pleasing to you, you’ll also be doing a great favor for yourself and the world! Gardening is a great way to pay tribute to our environment. You will get to see the magic of mother nature at work, while also gaining a deeper understanding of interconnectedness and unity.
Your harvest will be a perfect representation of some of this magic, but also giving you and your family a sense of ease. Imagine not having to rely on stores to have all of your grocery needs? We could reduce tons of waste while still providing for our families in a fun, kid friendly activity! This is something that everyone can get involved in, and at the same time reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.
The world could use a dose of serotonin right now, and I encourage everyone to incorporate self-care into their daily regimen. Gardening gives us that gift, and in such an organic way too! Without even thinking about it, we’re hitting all of our goals of fresh air, sunlight, and exercise. I think that when it comes down to it, the real question is why shouldn’t I get into gardening?
There are countless benefits that affect everything from our own health to our impact on the environment. After my research, I think that it’s safe to say I will become an avid gardener. How could I not want to be involved with all this knowledge? I can help create a sustainable environment by growing my own produce, and in turn, that produce can also be used to sustain me. It’s essential that you feel confident in the food that you’re eating, where it’s coming from, and what all goes into it. Sustainability is the key, and I can’t wait to learn how I can be better.