For thousands of years, humans have been cultivating plants.
Some on a huge scale, others just enough to support their family and there are even those that do it for fun.
Whatever your motivation, at DeemedEssential we appreciate and understand the value of a thriving garden.
Here are 12 Reasons Why Gardening Is Essential:
This is the first, and probably most obvious thought people have when they think of gardening.
In this day and age, it's not absurd to rationalize that some people think supermarkets and restaurants are the only places to get food.
As science improves, and collective understanding of the human experience grows, people are living longer, doing more and as of right now consuming more.
That said, the demand on our global food supply is ever increasing. This means potential widespread scarcity and guaranteed price increases.
But that only matters if you are dependent on the mainstream food supply chain.
It is incredibly important to understand that you are totally capable of growing your own sustenance.
Cleans The Air
This is probably a lesser regarded point when it comes to having plants all around us.
They filter our air.
Photosynthesis is how plants convert light to energy and carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Added oxygen in your environment means faster healing, calm and stabilized mind and body, alleviated headaches and migraines, boosted energy and healthier heart.
Along with absorbing the Carbon Dioxide we exhale, plants rid our indoor air of unfriendly elements called “volatile organic compounds”
Certain plants are certainly better than others when it comes to this.
If we are speaking about air filtering plants that also happen to thrive indoors, we are talking about these:
- Parlor palm
- Snake Plant
- English ivy
- Spider plant
- Chinese evergreen
- Bamboo palm or reed palm
- Heartleaf philodendron
- Selloum philodendron
- Elephant ear philodendron
- Red-edged dracaena
- Cornstalk dracaena
- Janet Craig dracaena
- Warneck dracaena
- Weeping fig
- Gerbera daisy or Barberton daisy
- Pot mum or florist’s chrysanthemum
- Rubber plant
This list was courtesy of HealthIssuesFixed.com
Sense Of Accomplishment
I have got to tell you; biting into a fruit or veggie that I've grown, or sitting in the shade provided by a tree I sprouted is a humbling, and divine experience.
There is a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride that I was not only able to conceptualize something, but I was able to see it through to the end.
Teaches You To See Things Through
We have been living in the era of participation trophies and timeouts for a while now, and one thing that stands out, is that many of us either forget how to or flat out cannot seem to see things through.
Nowadays, quitting seems cool.
"Oh this is hard, that's whack, I'm out."
But along with the aforementioned sense of accomplishment, comes the realization that not only should I see things through, as the reward is almost always worth the effort, you teach yourself that you are in fact capable of straight up doing. you can set your mind to something, and make it a reality.
There are few greater highs that completing a task, a mission, a goal that you've set for yourself.
Gardening is great practice. Not only are you able to see when you've neglected your crops, you're also able to see, feel, and in many instances taste when you have stuck to your goal, and given your plants the same love and attention you give to yourself.
It is very rewarding, relaxing (even when you're sweating) and revealing about your own character.
A coach once said to me;
"Your character is what you do when nobody is looking."
I carry that with me always.
Make Better Use Of The Land
We aren't hippies around these parts, but we do respect our environment, and appreciate the land around us.
As humans we have made life so easy and automatic that we can easily forget the impact of our actions on the earth.
This is partly because we don't see that processes that allow us to have literally everything by the click of a button.
I can order 20 pounds of beef, and drive to the store, have it loaded into my car, all without ever even stepping foot inside a store, let alone, preparing the animal from which it came.
The point is, we can give back to the planet by gardening.
When we garden, we help fertilize the soil, encourage pollinators to thrive and reproduce, we clean the air around us, and we reduce the human carbon footprint.
It removes some of the pressure from major food suppliers and might give this planet a chance to heal up a bit.
Cools Your Space
When I walk into our plant covered courtyard in the middle of the summer, it is always cooler.
Yes, obviously some of this effect is from the shade produced by all of our greenery, but it is also because the plants are absorbing from of the light and heat. Additionally, we've created our own little microclimate.
The air is crisper and sweeter, always 10-20 degrees cooler, and it can be dead still out side, there always seems to be a very light breeze - it's the wildest thing.
Something that sets humans apart, is our ability to determine, recognize and appreciate beauty.
Natural beauty humbles us, and in many cases reminds us of something greater.
"He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, his eye are closed." ~AE
Having natural beauty around me, has helped enhance my creative expression, which has also helped to view the world in a different light. Getting lost in the flow of creativity leads to greater appreciation of the beauty around us – known as life.
This becomes a wonderful cycle.
Working With Hands
We have made life more convenient, than lets say 100 years ago. Think about it, people with "low income" are still living and eating better than royalty a century ago. We have more readily, diverse options available to us at all times.
Hand can we not forget how good we have it?
Working with our hands builds character.
It ensures that there is no place for complacency or a lack of gratitude about the blessed lives we live.
There is no more of a hands on (pun intended) approach to creation, and gratification that working with your hands.
Waste Less Food
We don't see the work that goes into preparing, planting, maintaining, harvesting, curing, packaging, storing, shipping and stocking our food.
So it's no skin off our teeth to just toss the leftovers from dinner, rather than preserve them.
When you have your own garden not only do you have a greater appreciation for food, but a better understanding of the effort involved with tending to and cultivating food.
Beyond that, the food we can grow ourselves tastes exponentially better than what you can get at the grocery store, that in itself leads to less waste.
Present In The Moment
Meditation has been practiced by countless people from around the world for more than 10 centuries - that we know of so far.
It offers incredible spiritual, mental, and physical benefits!
Researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered long-term practitioners of meditation and yoga, have many ''disease-fighting genes'' active, compared to those who practice no form of relaxation.
Gardening is that form of relaxation for many people.
The past has already occurred, and the future is not guaranteed. All we have is right now, gardening allows you to remain in the moment, shutting out all of the distractions vying for your time.
The study found genes protecting from disorders like pain, infertility, high blood pressure and even rheumatoid arthritis were "switched on".
The act of regular gardening will literally make you healthier.
Which brings us to this next point...
Improves Your Health & Well Being
Gardening gets you up and moving. It allows you to relax while exercising, which seems paradoxical until you try it.
Think about it, you're present in the moment, many of us barefoot which means we are actively absorbing ions from the earth's surface (earthing aka grounding), we are moving which means we are exerperincing increased blood flow and likely deeper breath.
Although we are present in the moment, we must still at times plan for the future in regard to which seeds we sow and when, how we groom and when we harvest.
This exercises our brain and in a sense allows us to see with different senses.
Gets You Spending Time Outdoors
What better way to appreciate nature, than to immerse yourself in it.
Beyond that, let us circle back to the health benefits once more...
When our skin is exposed to sunlight it tells our body to produce a hormone known as cholecalciferol aka vitamin d.
Vitamin D is involved in more than 8,000 known hormonal responses within the human body, and is absolutely critical not only to our development mentally and physically but on going immune health, mental clarity and physical performance.
Spending time in your (outdoor) garden allows you to get your dose of vitamin d for sure, but it also get you breathing fresh air.
The human body is basically walking, talking bacteria... In fact the bugs living inside us are known collectively as the human microbiome.
When you step outside, you escape the stale, stagnant indoor air and you are actually aiding your metabolism, digestion and immune system by building your microbiome.
Teaches You Patience
We are living in an age when we literally have information available at our fingertips.
Because we have grown accustomed getting what we want, immediately, we have become addicted to instant gratification.
Ever hear the saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day?"
The thing is, Rome was built every day.
One of the major reasons that so many of us lack patience is that we are not present. Remember earlier when we were talking about remaining aware of the present moment?
When we garden, we know that with daily attention, and focus, we will reap the fruits (quite literally) of our labor. Even if the gardener is not consciously aware of the patience required to enjoy a successful garden, he or she definitely is benefiting is this regard.
Allows You To Visualize & Consciously Create
Last, but certainly not least, gardening allows us to visualize and consciously create.
Human beings are aware of their own consciousness, which allows us to view space, time and our own existence but objectively and subjectively. This is pretty amazing when you think about it (yes, that was another pun).
You must visualize the potential gardening space available to you, you must then visualize the types of plants and how and when they grow, and then of course you must act on these visualizations.
You are quite literally a creator of your own private, yet tangible world.
Again, there is nothing quite like surrounding yourself with life that you have created.
Especially life that you can regularly see, feel, smell, hear and taste. Gardening boosts all of the senses, and connects you to the existence around you.
If we've left anything out if you just want to share your essential gardening experience(s), by all means do so in the comments below!
Live by choice, not by chance.