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A garden has more benefits than flowers and produce

A garden has more benefits than flowers and produce

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Some warm days; chilly nights.

For the second year in a row we heard spring peepers in early March.

With the pandemic situation still going on, I look forward to spending every waking moment (also for the second year in a row) in my own, safe, wildlife haven that my husband and I have painstakingly created over many years from our yard.

Throughout the winter, I spent many hours walking through our property observing birds and other signs of wildlife. Watching the garlic patch poke its greenery up through both the bed of salt-hay and the occasional layer of snow. It truly required patience on my part to not “dig in” and disturb the winter landscape, for that is where a plethora of creatures spend their time also patiently waiting for spring and the warmth that it brings.

I always knew that I am most at peace and joyful when working in the yard. I have met so many others who feel the same. But what I didn’t know was that there are actually scientific reasons for these feelings of happiness.

Here is a list (from several sources) of the reasons why it is so very healthy and rewarding to garden:

• Tending a garden can help you feel more connected to the natural world around you and to others who may be gardening alongside you. It is a great activity, whether working solo or side by side with family and friends. (source: treehugger.com)

• Gardening can help to protect your memory. New evidence shows that gardening activities may spur growth in your brain’s memory-related nerves. (source: healthline.com)

• Beneficial bacteria in the soil can actually influence your mood. (source: treehugger.com) Mycobacterium Vaccae in the dirt can increase serotonin levels and improve learning.

• Even short amounts of time spent in green spaces have been shown to be incredibly beneficial for mental well-being, therefore reducing stress, depression and anxiety. (source: Treehugger.com) Also, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania reported that people who garden are more likely to get a solid seven hours of sleep a night.

• The physical exertion of digging, planting and weeding burns calories (offsetting both age-related weight gain and childhood obesity) and strengthens your heart. Gardening has special benefits for children; the health benefits include reducing allergies and autoimmune diseases. (source: healthtalk/unchealthcare.org)

• Sunlight gives you a boost of vitamin D which increases your calcium levels, benefitting your bones and immune system. Studies have shown that being out in the sun can also lower your risk of several serious diseases. (Remember to wear sunscreen.) (source: healthtalk/unchealthcare.org)

Growing your own food is empowering! You and your family can experience healthy, clean foods that you just harvested from your own garden.

Do you live somewhere that has restrictions on gardens? Think about container gardening or participating in your local community garden. It is a wonderful way to connect with like-minded folks and exchange ideas about what and how to grow veggies.

Extend your gardening experience to include beneficial native plants. You will be rewarded, as we have been, with a property that is teeming with life. You do not have to spend all of your time outdoors working. Take time to be still and listen to the sounds of your creation and embrace the health benefits that it brings. This is your reward.

Sources:

treehugger.com

• healthtalk/unchealthcare.org

• healthline.com

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