29 September 2012

{Where Nothing Hurts}

Research has shown that gardening can provide extra food for the family, savings on food purchases and another means of income if sold at local farmers markets [Source: Lombard]. This becomes particularly important in indigent areas around the world. Economic instability has threatened a major market that is often taken for granted, the global food market. This has left many countries without food and caused even greater political instability. Gardening is a simple practice that could be taught and promoted worldwide. It's commonly noted that local gardening brings about a better sense of community [Source: Wakefield, Lombard, Armstrong]. All of us could benefit from making it a social priority.

     Relaxation and stress reduction could be one of the best benefits. Given that antidepressants are some of the most commonly prescribed medications, a prescription for some flowers, plants or tomatoes might be a refreshing change. Researchers commonly note the positive mental outlook obtained by those participating in gardening [Source: Wakefield, Lombard, Armstrong]. A stronger connection to the earth is also noted. Gardens may even help with healing. Hospitals and treatment centers are encouraged to “go green” to help lower stress and improve social interaction in their facilities [Source: Irvine]. You could start a garden with a group of friends or do something as simple as planting a few plants or herbs in your home or office. Another great benefit of gardening is that is gives the body a chance to focus on just the garden and drop away from the stressors of yesterday or tomorrow.

Gardens represent yet another surprising answer to help our declining health care system. Benefits in nutrition, activity level and reduction in anxiety are just a few of the positive outcomes. Positive mental health and better community cohesiveness are other pros desperately needed in tough economic times. Gardening can help the local food markets, which may become a necessity due to the escalating fuel costs and the need for greater nutrition. Get into your backyard and develop a greater consciousness of the world in which we live.

Four days
Her petals furled
Gainst chilling wind and rain.
Came sun-and rose disclosed her heart
Purr gold.-.

{Cannes, 1954}

An smiling Grace Kelly photographed in Cannes, during the filming of To Catch a Thief (1954). (Unknown photographer).