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Why Gardening is Good For You and Your Family

Why Gardening is Good For You and Your Family

Like many people, I finished the year reflecting on 2023. This end-of-year "deep dig" caused me to excavate even deeper, and I found myself looking at not just the past twelve months but also the last twelve years that we've lived in our home and grown a garden.

Our memories in our ever-changing garden space have become the backbone of our family's core memories. After much reflection, it's apparent that the benefits of growing food with my family have spanned beyond our growing space and affected our success and relationships in many aspects of our lives.

If you have wanted to start a garden with your family this past twelve months, or maybe the past twelve years, I've listed below what I've learned about why gardening is so good for you and your loved ones. It's a little inspo to get you to grow!

  • Bonding Time: Gardening provides moments for families to bond over positive shared experiences. No matter the garden task, whether it's planting seeds, picking weeds, or harvesting veggies, it's an opportunity for communication and teamwork where everyone can play an important role. 
  • Educational Fun: Take it from me, a former classroom educator: gardens are living classrooms! It's hands-on biology and a cross-curricular education that engages learning with all your senses. Which, I believe, leads to lasting knowledge.
  • Healthy Habits: Gardening encourages physical activity. Digging, planting, and weeding are great exercises promoting a healthy lifestyle for kids and adults. I track my activity throughout the day and am shocked at the workout results I get while doing garden tasks. 
  • Nutritional Awareness: Growing your own fruits and vegetables encourages healthier eating habits as you enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your labor. Kids are often more prone to try something new when they know where it comes from. I've witnessed how it removes the unknown "ick" factor.
  • Patience and Resiliency: Watching a garden grow teaches patience and resiliency. It's a waiting game; sometimes patience pays off with delicious rewards, but that's not always the case. Sometimes, crops fail, or pests take over, and that's when you problem-solve and then try again!
  • Confidence Boosting: The confidence that comes from growing your own food is an ability believing boost for anyone, no matter what age. That sense of capability transcends to other areas of life, be it school or new activities.
  • Stress Relief: Gardening is a therapeutic activity that helps alleviate stress. There's something calming about connecting with nature and tending to plants. It's a natural stress-buster for the whole family. It saved us all when we were all working and learning on screens during the pandemic.
  • Environmental Stewardship: Gardening instills a sense of environmental responsibility. Kids learn about the importance of caring for the Earth and how their actions can positively impact the environment. Also, when you start seeing more biodiversity enter a growing space, The idea of healthy ecosystems, big and small, makes much more sense.
  • Creativity Blooms: Gardens are a canvas for creativity. Designing the layout, choosing plants, and decorating with garden ornaments allow families to express their unique style. It's like nature's art project! (As I said above, gardening is a cross-curricular activity!)
  • Budget-Friendly Entertainment: Gardening offers an affordable form of entertainment. Instead of spending money on activities, a family can enjoy hours of quality time in the garden, and the only cost might be the initial investment in seeds, soil, and tools.
  • Harvest of Happiness: The joy of harvesting your own crops is immeasurable. It's like reaping the benefits of your hard work and dedication. It's important to celebrate all garden wins, both big and small, and as the saying goes, "Life is a garden, dig it!"

 

No matter if you start growing solo and small or dig in with friends and family, know that you're giving yourself a gift that not only keeps on giving but, even better, keeps on growing! 
I hope 2024 is your greenest yet!
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