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.

 

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Last Update on March 30, 2015 07:07 GMT

PINK CHICKENS

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- If someone said they saw pink elephants, you'd ask what drinks had gotten into them. When people in Portland, Oregon spotted pink chickens -- it turned out it was because of the drinks the birds had gotten on them. Animal control officials picked up the pink pullets after they were spotted running loose in the city's waterfront park. Turns out the owner used food coloring, beet juice and Kool-Aid to dye the birds. He says he released them for a while to "make people smile." He may not be smiling at the result. He got a bill for the time the chickens were in county care -- and a scolding about the dangers of releasing birds in public areas.

PIANO MOUNTAIN

CALABASAS, Calif. (AP) -- You've heard of Mount Rushmore and Mount Everest -- but Mount Piano? Hikers who made the trek up to Topanga Lookout in the Santa Monica Mountains of California recently have come upon an odd sight: a battered upright piano, sitting on a graffiti-covered concrete slab. Turns out the piano was used for a music video. The video producer says he and four others used a dolly and rope to haul the 350-pound instrument a mile up the trail last week. After the shoot, it was too dark to get it down. The video maker says while it seems people are happy to see it there, he will haul it back down if necessary.

SNACK RUN

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- We've all had those times: you have a craving for something to eat or drink in the wee hours, and hop out of bed to get it. In this case, the person with the craving in the wee hours was a wee lass: just 4 years old. And to get to the store, she hopped on a Philadelphia bus. Police say the girl slipped on a purple raincoat, slipped out of her house at 3 a.m. in a downpour -- and boarded the bus. Driver Harlan Jenifer says the girl swung her legs in her seat as she chanted, "All I want is a slushie." The driver called police, who took the girl to a hospital where she was reunited with her mom. Authorities say the girl's family was unaware she had gone on her slushie run.

ANGRY BIRDS?

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) -- It's a game of angry birds no one in Melbourne, Florida wants to play. Officials say ducks, geese, seagulls and other feathered friends are acting more like feathered fiends -- chasing people and tying up traffic in Wells Park. Animal officials say it appears the birds are losing their fear of people. And in some cases, that means people are gaining a fear of birds. City Manager Mick McNees tells the Florida Today newspaper three white geese chased him as he jogged in the park. He says he had trouble scaring the birds off -- but fears that an older person or child may not be able to. Officials have put up signs barring people from feeding wildlife to try to restore the balance of nature in the park.

 
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