Now more than ever, I am grateful for my home. It is safe, comfortable and quiet. I am fortunate beyond words, and I never let myself forget it. The garden in particular, during the pandemic, has been an oasis, a salvation, a place to go to get away when we can’t get away. It’s not particularly big or fancy or exotic, but it’s ours. We nurture it, we care for it. We watch it grow…or not grow. It’s a work in progress and a constant source of learning, creativity, and wonder. Studies have shown that growing a garden, whether vegetable or flowers, is not just good for physical health, but for mental health as well. In fact, digging in the dirt stirs up microbes in the soil, . Inhaling these microbes can stimulate serotonin production, which can make you feel relaxed and happier, not unlike an antidepressant. Doing this with bare hands is even better. That helps explain the that feeling of joy one gets after an afternoon puttering around in the dirt. Great in-depth article on that here.
Just for fun, here are some photos of our garden.
I hope you are enjoying your garden as much as we enjoy ours! If you don’t have outdoor space of your own, look into your town or city’ community plot offerings, or volunteer programs where you can help others in your community grow vegetables. I had them before we bought this house, and it was a great way to get to know my neighbors and learn tips from others. And Boston, for example, has volunteer programs that are growing vegetables at empty school plots to help pantries stock their shelves. It has been an absolute joy to be part of something that is helping people in need in our community.