We live in the city, and it can be hard to find that sense of connection to the earth when everything is concrete and manicured. Yet some of us recognise the need to live more sustainably. Urban gardens are popping up everywhere, from window sill grows, to roof top gardens, it is on. And how awesome to have food being grown locally in our neighbourhoods and communities. My family has decided to make the shift towards growing as much of our own food as possible. We started with the desire to become more sustainable. And we have come to discover that the benefits extend far beyond the amazing tastes of fresh picked produce. It has become our garden mindful meditation.
The personal benefits of gardening include, improved mental health, immunity, brain function, exercise, nutrition, and stress relief. Being on the earth, in nature naturally recalibrates our bodies to the vibrational frequency of the Earth(Schumman Resonance 7.83 hz). It can help us to de-stress from EMF's (Electro Magnetic Frequencies), improve the bodies ability to heal, and calm the mind. There are these awesome bacteria in dirt, that are found to both stimulate the precursor enzymes to Serotonin and strengthen the immune system. GO DIRT! Getting out in the garden can provide moderate physical movement. Increasing both strength and flexibility. I had to get into some really interesting yoga poses, to pick green beans, without stepping on the pumpkins, or greens that were growing together. Lastly, gardeners have been proven to eat more fruits and vegetables which means better nutrition. Eating seasonally supports the body getting what it naturally needs at that time of the year. For instance, it is summer, and our garden is full of juicy hydrating plants, such as cucumbers, tomatoes to keep our bodies hydrated in the heat. Nature is an intelligent design.
The earth benefits from our gardening as well. Growing our own food, reduces carbon emissions because of the reduced carbon emissions from transport of food to table. Each organic plant grown decreases the amount of chemical pesticides, fertilisers, and other nasties, used in “conventional farming”, going into the earth, and our bodies of water. It also adds extra oxygen, absorbs carbon dioxide creating more clean air. Composting reduces waste going to the landfill, as well as adds much needed nutrients from green and brown waste to the soil. Adding chickens to your garden is a natural pest control, organic fertiliser and compost enhancer as they eat up excess green waste from the garden and your kitchen. It is a win/win situation. That is a big metaphor we can all contemplate “How can we mindfully recycle our energy and resources”....What can we give back? It is a small token of gratitude for this beautiful earth that supports and nourishes us.
Our children greatly benefit from gardening too. They can explore the magical world of plants with all of the winged creatures(faeries, bees, butterflies, beetles) and simultaneously be learning responsibility, reasoning and self-confidence. My boys love to play games with the chickens in our garden. They develop a good sense of awareness and respect to be amongst the chickens confidently and kindly. The cycle of growing a plant, can teach them all kinds of things about the cycle of life. It supports their health in the same ways as it does adults, and it teaches them about healthy eating. Which is essential in this fast-food culture that has led to chronic obesity in children. It gets them out in nature and active(also good in the age of technology) to de-stress their bodies. And let's not forget about the dirt....children are tactile beings, putting their hands and feet in the earth feels good and makes them happy as they learn that the earth is an innately supportive and safe place to live. Growing your own first aid kit is also an incredibly powerful thing to do with the kids. There will be another article on that coming up soon. Simple and effective tools to empower our children with health and knowledge.
Growing most of your own food doesn't happen overnight. It is a process of learning what works through trial and error, a mindful meditation. We are just one family of many learning how simple and hard it is to grow food. Unless we make changes on a large scale, the earth and her resources may not be able to support the future demands of our culture. Being able to feed the family from your garden requires a direct relationship with natural cycles, patience, and knowledge. A skill that many urbanites seem keen to embrace too. Don't fret if you don't have a backyard, you can still grow sprouts, micro greens and other goodies on patios, windowsills, or benchtops. The benefits of growing a garden regardless of the size, can hopefully impact those in our local communities in a positive way... What a wonderful way for families, and communities to explore, nourish and give back.