If you're anything like me, you're looking for something that you can connect with while also feeling like you're making a difference. Gardening can be that hobby. It’s a space you create where you can use your imagination and just be yourself!
Even though you may feel like you're getting all the benefits from growing your own food, you're also putting more plants into the environment to take in CO2 and produce more oxygen. So right off the bat, win-win, but let’s dive in even deeper!
1. Better Mood
A lot of us struggle with things like anxiety and depression. I know I do. Gardening is such a good way to take your energy away from those feelings and put them into something more enjoyable and rewarding. You not only get to admire the view from creating a beautiful green space, it also allows you time to soak in a little sunshine and gives your body the vitamin D that is so essential to keeping our bones healthy. Playing in the dirt can seem like such a pointless thing to do, but I believe it helps build our self confidence, because hey, if you can grow your own food and feed yourself, what can't you do..?!
Plus, I think it's a bit harder to stay upset when you're surrounded by all of your favorite flowers, foods and smells. Don't you?!
2. Builds Strength
It's a workout, there is no doubt about it! Depending on what you're doing, you could be using almost every major muscle group in your body while gardening, which is why you may feel sore after a long day of raking, shoveling or repotting. The nice thing though is it never really feels like a workout when it's something you enjoy doing! I've spent several hours digging up weeds, turning compost, trimming plants, moving pots and I just kind of lose track of time. The aftermath of all your hard work always makes up for any small aches you may gain along the way! Gardening is not only good for you physically but mentally as well. Doing research and thinking of new strategies and techniques to help you have a more successful space will keep your mind active and alert.
3. Healthier Diet
Yes. One of the main reasons I started gardening was to start incorporating healthier foods into my diet. And if we're being honest, before I started, I barely ate any vegetables. I'm not a fan of the idea of having different chemicals sprayed on my foods plus a lot of them just didn't taste all that great to me. When I began my garden I started with the foods that I was familiar with growing up, but after a few seasons started expanding to things I had never even seen or heard of before. This made me realize how many delicious fruits and vegetables that are out there that you will never see in the grocery store. Growing some of my own food has really helped expand my desire to try new foods and it’s way more rewarding when it comes out of the garden you've created!
4. Solo or Group Activity
If you know me at all, I lean heavier on the introverted side. I like me time and solo activities, but gardening is a true hobby you can enjoy by yourself, with a friend, or even a large group of people. It's one of the activities that has actually connected me to others the most. A really good way to get into the gardening life and seeing what it's all about is to check around town for a community garden! It’s a great way to get involved while being able to share recommendations, plans, tips, etc. with other likeminded people!
5. Good for the Earth
Just get it out of your head that the garden you create is just for you. You’d be creating a whole natural habitat for bees, butterflies, and so many other insects and wildlife! Gardening all around helps promote a more sustainable and eco friendly lifestyle. If you are doing things like composting, then you’re throwing less trash in the garbage and recycling it back into the earth instead. You're also using less garbage in general: you're not going to the grocery store as frequently and packing everything into those plastic bags!
A big mistake that people often make is thinking they need a ton of space to start a garden that'll actually make a difference in their lifestyle. There are so many indoor growing kits and hydroponic stations that can be used right inside your home that can grow just about anything you’d need! If you're growing food at home, whether it’s indoors or outside, then there is less need for food transportation from other states and countries which saves on the use of fuel and lessens pollution.
This hobby and lifestyle has made me appreciate the earth more and how important it is for us to preserve it. It’s something you can start at anytime on a very little budget and is fun for any age!
Stay tuned for more on how to start your garden! :)