So, here we are again in that oh too familiar lockdown. By the time you are reading this, we will be coming out of it. I have to admit, the last 12-15 months have tested us in so many ways, and yet, been inspirational in others.
For some, being compelled to stay home for stretches at a time, has meant that much could be done domestically. I’ve enjoyed talking to clients over the months learning how they have spent their spare time in lockdown. One client in particular inspired me when she lovingly spoke of her edible garden and the joy she experienced from it.
I have always wanted an edible garden but I do not have that elusive green thumb. Don’t get me wrong, we have been in the same modest home for 38 years and are surrounded by many gum trees, succulents, tropical plants, and native grasses. But this is the work of mother nature and my husband’s earth-friendly disposition.
There has been many a study that has sung the benefits of plants, edible or otherwise. Living plants are known to boost our mood, improve concentration, stimulate creativity, reduce stress, invigorate our energy, absorb toxins, produce life giving oxygen, and lower noise levels. There’s a lot to be said for having a well nurtured garden plus some indoor plants.
But there is something special about an edible garden. My father cultivated a garden for all the years I knew him. It was his absolute passion. You could always tell when he had been in the garden; he whistled, laughed, and was somehow even chatter than his usual chatty self. I miss him dearly and I miss those bags full of organically grown fruits and veggies that he so delightedly gave us.
Going back to that client of mine with her edible garden. I enjoyed listening to how meaningful and fulfilling her garden is to her that I offered to post a blog about it here. I hope that it inspires you to either start an edible garden of your own or to spend more time whiling away the day surrounded by mother nature’s greenery.
“These COVID times have given plenty of cause to reflect on what is most important. One thing that has come through very strongly for me (and many others I think), is how nature is so integral to our health and wellbeing. Humans are part of this amazing world after all, not separate from it, so it is not so surprising. But it is a way of viewing the world that we are still rediscovering and moving back towards.
I am lucky enough to have a block of land in suburbia with front and back yards. Over the past 12 years, I have turned over every bit of earth on our property that I can, to plants and animals. I have a particular focus on food production, with 90+ fruit trees, vines, annuals, herbs and other plants, packed in to about 170sqm. I’ve improved the soil for the microbiota and to ensure water retention during rain events. I’ve picked hundreds of kilos of food in the past year for my family, friends and neighbours.
It’s also meant I have a place to retreat to, a green oasis, when things get hard. Sitting there amongst the whispering leaves, communing with the plants, observing and caring for them, I’ve gained so much perspective, and found the patience to keep going.
This connection to my garden and the place where I live, is precious and valuable to me for all of the benefits mentioned and more. I feel like with every worm that I discover, every seedling that pushes through the soil, every carrot end that goes into the compost bin instead of landfill, every piece of fruit that my children discover and pick with joy, I am contributing to improving our environment and the planet.
My wish for you, is that you can bring some nature into your space so you can experience this daily connection and sense of belonging too. Whether you have a veggie patch or just a windowsill, every choice adds up.”
If you need support during these challenging times, call Dr Marie Anderson on 0411 319 990, or any of our team at Balanced Wellbeing Centre