I was recently interviewed about my edible garden. As parts of the interview were edited to fit it into a short story, I have decided to publish the whole interview on my blog. Over the next view weeks I will take you through a quick gardening 101. Last week I shared about the importance of location and position. You can read about that here. Today I talk about the many benefits gardening has on the mind, body and soul.
Q:What are the key benefits of an edible garden?
Other than the obvious, being fresh food at your fingertips at low cost, I really believe a garden can be healing on a mind, body and soul level.
It brings such rest in your life because you connect to creation.
We live in a fast paced world where most of us experience a fair amount of stress. This is quite damaging for your body and your mind, when the stress is long term.
For me, my garden gave me quietness in my mind and rest from my busy schedule. I was able to relax and observe patterns in nature. Everything in life and nature consists out of patterns that one cannot always control, they simply happen. My garden invited me to become one with those patterns, work with them and let them do what they were supposed to do.
You have the seasons, which taught me that tomatoes don’t grow all year round. That is because we are not supposed to eat tomatoes all year round in our climate. Our bodies are designed to eat for the seasons.
Then there is the cycle of the moon. Just as the moon influences the rise and fall of the tides, so it is that plants with a high water content are also influenced by the moon phases. Some plants grow stronger roots when planted in a particular phase of the moon.
Then there is the plant cycle itself. It all starts with a seed that sprouts at the right time, it grows into a stem, then leaves, flowers, fruit and back to the beginning of the seed again.
A garden cannot be rushed, which is what makes it such a beautiful experience. You are never really in control even though you think you might be.
A garden also builds community. I know my neighbours. In fact, I almost know my entire street. My garden is a talking point. And as I am often out the front picking herbs and fruit I get to greet everyone that walks by. My neighbours are very lucky, because any surplus is always shared.
Earth care, people care and fair share are the ethics of permaculture (the art of organic gardening), I try to live by as it spreads some love into this sometimes cold and wretched world.