A Garden Boosts Both Nutrition and Health
June can’t arrive soon enough for me. I signed up for an introductory permaculture class held June 2nd and 5th at San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. Permaculture is an approach to growing food that works with nature. Instead of attacking and attempting to overpower nature – always futile and destructive in the long run – permaculture works in harmony with natural law.
The result is food for people and habitat for birds and wildlife.
Permaculture seeks to connect people and nature in a seamless web. Horticulture therapy takes advantage of this principle as well, This therapy treats a variety of patients and ailments using gardens and gardening. The lush colors and textures of plants is a welcome respite from a sterile, institutional health care setting.
For example, hospitals may bring patients into the outdoors to tend plants as part of their rehabilitation program. Elderly nursing home residents gain strength planting, weeding, and cutting flowers. Mental health settings can incorporate gardening into group therapy. Even Alzheimers disease patients become less anxious and more focused when engaged with nature.
You don’t need to wait until you are a patient to take advantage of the healing power of gardening. Growing plants is therapeutic for many reasons. First, and most obvious, is the exercise. Gardening may involve walking, lifting, bending, stooping, digging, and other physical tasks. Even tasks that are not strenuous add up when you do them frequently or over a (more…)