Fresh is best
Fresh, local, and organic. You know exactly what is going into your food. You can’t beat the crisp or juicy flavours of fresh picked. None of this sitting on a truck for days or on the grocers’ shelf being rifled through by numerous hands – makes you cringe, doesn’t it?
Would you be at your best if woken before ready only to sit in a dark truck for days? Much transported produce is picked before ripe and sprayed with chemicals as to not spoil during transportation.
NOTE: Be sure to use organic seeds to prevent GMOs.
Seeds are inexpensive, can yield an abundant supply of produce and you don’t have to pay the inflated grocer corporation prices. “I prefer to keep my money where I can see it, in my closet!” (-Carrie Bradshaw)
Setting up a garden can be as simple or extravagant as you like anywhere from a few pots (think apartment balcony) to a full raised garden bed. Yes, you can eat healthy, fresh food on a budget!
Physical activity & hand dexterity
Gardening is a workout! Be sure to be in a comfortable position before starting; get yourself a gardening knee pad if necessary. Switch up your tasks often to prevent fatigue and repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel and tendonitis. Take breaks (get your hydration with some H2O) and stretch. Gardening provides moderate-intensity exercise burning 200-400 calories in an hour. That’s about the equivalent to a McDonald’s Cheeseburger!
Using tools, planting, and weeding all improve hand strength and dexterity; functions that generally decline with age.
Grounding and connecting with the earth
When was the last time you walked around barefoot and felt the earth under your feet? Earth, not pavement.
Connecting with the earth is beneficial to our whole-self. In the “industrialized” society we are disconnected from the earth’s natural grounding effects with all of the concrete or asphalt paving everywhere. Scientific studies are proving reconnecting with the earth’s energy can provide a number of health benefits:
Mental benefits of gardening are inexplicably amazing! Gardening daily has shown the ability to reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s and dementia by up to 50%. According to Alzheimer’s Society Canada, “there are over half a million Canadians living with dementia – plus about 25,000 new cases diagnosed every year. By 2031, that number is expected to rise to 937,000, an increase of 66%”. These are stats we cannot ignore!
Gardening can also reduce mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and overall stress. Be mindful, take a minute to really feel the earth and soil in your hands and get dirty!
Zero pesticides & herbicides
You control what is sprayed on your food. Traditional pesticides and herbicides are shown to be linked to a number of illnesses including cancer. Testing has proven that many chemicals are leached into produce and are still present upon consumption. During the Environmental Working Group’s 2018 testing, a sample of strawberries had 20 different pesticides present! Ew!
Try this Organic Garden Spray to keep the pests away. (Don’t worry, it won’t affect the taste of your produce.)
Organic Garden Spray
Put all ingredients together in a blender. Use a fine strainer to leave just the liquid and pour the blended liquid into a spray bottle. Add in 1/4 cup of dish soap or castile soap. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water. Shake lightly to mix.
Your homemade garden spray is ready!
CAUTION: Avoid spraying in direct sunlight. Wear gloves, and be careful not to get spray in your face. Fumes may be present.
BONUS: Have your legs exposed to the sunshine without sunscreen for 10 minutes to soak in the beneficial vitamin D.
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