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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gardening Past and Present, Dig It!

Poster, "Improve Your Neighborhood, Plant A Garden"! Found at Northern Sun catalogue (bottom, right of this page)

“The benefits of gardening are not all in the body; they're also in the mind. Tending your garden is a real stress buster, helping relieve feelings of anxiety and providing a break from the general rush of life. Because the work involved is mainly physical, gardeners have a chance to think about their concerns, meditate, or just spend a few hours daydreaming. They can also feel a sense of accomplishment in a job well done.” The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

Inspired by my aunt’s success with her desert vegetable garden, I have been considering starting a small one with my young son. I know we would both enjoy tending to it together and the thoughts of eating safe, fresh produce is a benefit that can’t be matched! One of my life-long friends has a little space in the backyard just for her 3-year old’s sunflower patch, which he enjoys so much--I can't wait until he discovers the yummy seeds!

I agree that in any of these settings, the sense of accomplishment, and the physical and mental advantages of tending to a garden (planting, weeding, and harvesting) contribute to a healthy mind and body. When I do some hand-weeding around the tortoise yards, remove and replant succulents, or just work to enhance the landscape in any way, I get into a kind of mental groove, and I find I feel energized from the inside, even if I’m physically worked. The energy last for the rest of the day.

Gardening in any capacity seems a great way to dig deep, cultivate growth, and nourish your body as well as your mind!

Back to the Future: Clay Pot Irrigation

I saw this fantastic recommendation from fellow CREYE (Coachella Valley Environmental Youth Experience) group member, Vernonique R. regarding clay pot irrigation—a resourceful and highly efficient way to maintain your garden. Coming from a region where water is a precious resource, this ancient concept is inspired, entirely practical, and a completely responsible way to establish or enhance your own garden lush with organic goodness!

This might be the way to go with my young son, a little experimental container gardening (baby steps)! I know he would love checking and adding water to the pot and picking and eating the fruits of his labor. [Click here] for David Bainbridge’s article (shared by Veronique) to learn more about the ease and incredible efficiency of clay pot irrigation, including its interesting historical significance.

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