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Gardening: A Harvest of Healing

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Gardening:  A Harvest of Healing

Why do we do it—garden—when it makes us sweaty, sore, and often cranky? By the end of the harvest season, our faces are red from cooking tomatoes and putting up food either into the pantry or the freezer. Our hands are calloused and nails dirty. And yet…and yet…when it’s all said and done and autumn winds chill the night air, what we’re left with, besides a stocked-up pantry, is a deep feeling of strength and satisfaction. It’s true. With gardening, we harvest more than food and flowers; we harvest health and healing.

It starts with the health that comes just from physical activity: Gardening is proven to be great exercise. And that, I think, comes from our stubbornness; gardeners want to have things a certain way, so we find superhuman strength to move plants, rocks, logs, or whatever else it takes to make our gardens just right. All that weight lifting, bending, and stretching, while leaving us sore the next day, also builds good bone strength and muscles—especially as we age. I bet there are few gardeners who have insufficient vitamin D thanks to gardening in the sun (and occasional rainfall)!

Eat Vegan:  Be Healthy, Well-Fed, and Kind

Another health bonus is also the healing power of the food and flowers we grow—whether it’s bouquets that bring stress relief and feelings of joy or the super-nutrient-rich foods we cook, eat, freeze, dry, and can fresh from the vines. There’s a powerful feeling of security and safety seeing my bags of berries, green beans, and savoy cabbage and jars of tomato sauce and pesto lined up in my freezer.

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31 comments

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5:49AM PST on Jan 28, 2012

.all of your comments are excellent when we launched the Say No To Drugs and Yes To Mother Nature Project http://goo.gl/SvjgC our concept was about caring and sharing

4:56PM PST on Nov 21, 2010

Healing, indeed!!!

6:23AM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

I love to see a gardening article at the end of October! Gardening tasks don't end on Labor Day. Collect those leaves like Melinda M. for composting. If you have enough, you can save some leaves for brown material to balance out your spring & summer greens for compost batches next year. It really helps to shred those leaves with your mower or shredder. They'll break down much faster into usable compost.

8:42AM PDT on Oct 31, 2010

I wish it were easier to grow food here. but we still have our full pantry and freezers -- full of berries and mushrooms and elk.

1:06AM PDT on Oct 31, 2010

I'm quite envious of those wealthy enough to have land for a garden, especially city dwellers.

11:26PM PDT on Oct 30, 2010

I'll never forget the day I came home to find all my green tomatoes all over the yard. I couldn't help but to laugh, my puppies thought I had grown green balls for them to play with.

5:36AM PDT on Oct 30, 2010

Gardening is great and harvesting is better! All that good food to eat!

10:17PM PDT on Oct 29, 2010

I would love to have my own garden someday. Thank you for posting.

9:09PM PDT on Oct 29, 2010

Gardening makes you feel good. Thanks :)

4:43PM PDT on Oct 29, 2010

I love it. Thanks.

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