How Does Your Garden Grow? - 06/12/14
Mary Mary Quite Contrary
How Does Your Garden Grow?
I used to love that English nursery rhyme, and since you ask--- well, mine is growing just fine. The weather has played a huge role this year since we're 2.10" above average rainfall for the month. We've got carrots coming up, along with cantaloupe, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, pumpkin, cucumbers, broccoli, blueberries, basil, cilantro, thyme and rosemary. The watermelon and strawberries fizzled out this year, but you can't win 'em all.
There's something cool about digging in the dirt, helping something flourish and then getting to eat what you grow. You know exactly what's in it and more importantly, what's not.
Studies show gardening is a good mood stabilizer. I'm not real big on studies since one contradicts the other depending on who's funding them. However, a study out of the Netherlands shows gardening can fight stress. I believe this to be true even without the data. They had two groups of stressed out people either read indoors for 30 minutes or garden outdoors for the same amount of time. The ones who gardened had lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, afterwards.
Most of us, (if we have a smartphone or are on social media or have a boss or clients who like to email,) are probably suffering from attention fatigue, where we feel this pressure to always pay attention and be accessible. That feeling of always having to answer someone or something isn't very healthy. I've seen gardening described as effortless attention, an escape that in return produces more than just food.
If you aren't gardening, give it a try... get dirty. If you are, let me know what's in your harvest, besides the good mood and sense of well being that comes free with a little digging.