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I’ve always had a fondness for the idea of home gardening from my early days of pulling a huge, ripe tomato from my grandfather’s well-tended plot to spending time recently with my uncle who is a serial composter for his garden and flower beds. I have a dream that one day, I’ll be starting my own garden. The preparation has begun.
Well, that day showed up big time last March when a quarter of US adults started gardening during global lockdowns that spurred massive interest and action. Don’t take my word for it, news sources couldn’t stop reporting on our sudden start to the gardening boom.
According to Financial Times, “Starting a garden was listed as the second most popular lockdown activity people planned to do after watching TV, according to a survey by GlobalData market research in May, ahead of cooking, reading and exercising.”
It’s good exercise; it creates the opportunity to eat a more plant-based diet; the healthy activity lowers cortisol; and you also get a healthy dose of vitamin D being outside.
Global newswire Reuters reported a seed boom. “U.S. seed company W. Atlee Burpee & Co sold more seed than any time in its 144-year history in March as the virus spread, Chairman George Ball said.”
Gardening surged partially as a way to create peace, and even a food source during an uncertain time. Plus, people were working from home and spending an unprecedented amount of time with family—the perfect storm for the launch of a new hobby.
And experts say gardening is here to stay.
As a huge lover of flowers and fresh, organic veggies (as seen by my farmer’s market obsession), I am enamored, even envious, of the idea of all of these home gardens starting…I totally get it!
Let’s DIG in even further as to what else you can grow in when you are starting a garden. First of all, you can improve, grow your personal health. Gardening can literally lower your blood pressure. It’s good exercise; it creates the opportunity to eat a more plant-based diet; the healthy activity lowers cortisol; and you also get a healthy dose of vitamin D being outside.
You can grow your happiness and mental wellbeing, as caring for your plantings can improve your mood and mental health. And growing fruits and veggies can give you a sense of purpose, a key component to longevity.
Starting a garden can grow your relationships. In the last year, more families than ever gardened together, and then we know there was a big trend of families cooking together.
Gardening can grow a sense of community as neighbors share their harvests. In fact, Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones and The Blue Zones Kitchen was interviewed by ICONIC LIFE and says the Blue Zones around the world—Ilkaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California; Okinawa, Japan and Nicoya, Costa Rica—may hold the secret to longevity for the rest of us.
What he found was that satisfaction and happiness, which influence longevity, had nothing to do with money, status or possessions—it was all about simple things like a conversation with a friend, doing work by hand and enjoying simple food. And that daily walking and tending of a garden provided physical and mental benefits that contribute to the lengthiest longevity.
Given my goals and how I like to live, I think MY day has arrived.
Renee M. Dee