Growth With Gardening: How To Change Your Relationship With Food
Gardening is an engaging, giving and therapeutic activity. It stimulates the senses, requires durability and connects us with nature. As human beings we have become a society that spends a lot of time surrounded by man-made objects. Buildings, computers and coffee machines are good examples of the inorganic objects we interact with on a daily basis. However, when you literally get in touch with nature by gardening, your humanity is ignited.
By food gardening, you're participating in a substantial and important cycle of life. It's so much more than good for your body and soul, it's good for all living things and our world's sustainability. And avid gardeners find that they are able to better relieve stress, enjoy nurturing organic growth and effectively foster their overall happiness. And gardening can be the key to unlocking a healthier relationship with food.
It's what you find when focusing on your environment that matters. What's found through gardening is connection, self-satisfaction and healing. And it's not just something for retired individuals or stay-at-home parents. It's catching on big-time with millennials (18-34 years old). There's a silent food revolution happening, but some of us are hearing it loud and clear.
The National Gardening Association has published a report titled: 'Garden to Table: A 5 Year Look At Food Gardening In America' . It shows us that millennials are the fastest growing population of food gardeners. The numbers increased by 63% between 2008 and 2013 (8 million to 13 million). And in the same amount of time, these 18-34 year olds have almost doubled their spending on food gardening. These are the future and current parents and home owners of America. And food gardening is obviously on their radar.
Overall it seems Americans are catching on to the benefits of gardening. There are currently about 42 million people growing food at home. And these are the highest numbers we've seen in over 10 years. Some might assume that without ample outdoor space, one cannot participate in the process. This is simply not true. With systems like our Grow.Bar anyone can plant and grow microgreen veggies and herbs at home. All ready for harvest within 2 weeks or less.
And community gardens and urban gardening are also picking up the pace. The same report from The National Gardening Association shows that there has been a 29% increase of food gardening among people living in urban areas. It's obvious that growing food is worth it and accessible. However it's not only the gardening process itself that's beneficial. The harvesting, cooking and eating processes that follow have a huge impact on life as well.
When we eat, we often do it mindlessly. Do you really think about what you're digesting or putting in your body? When it's a busy or hectic day, probably not. However, it's important to pay attention as often as possible. Knowing what organic food looks like, tastes like and contains is significant. We should all be aware of what our bodies need and what the earth provides for us. If you seek a joyful existence, then put health and gardening at the top of your priority list.
Food gardening is a great way to begin appreciating your food. If you are cultivating crops, no matter how small, and giving them proper attention before you consume them, chances are good you have a new found interest in what you eat. And a larger database of nutritional information. This education happens naturally through the gardening process. And it's important at any age to discover these positive characteristics and the scientific magic that growing provide.
Grocery runs and restaurant visits create a barrier between us and our food. It makes a meal less personal, less satisfying and likely less nutritious. When you step away from the growth process, a connection with your food is lost. And you do not know for certain how it's been preserved, cleaned or prepared. It's a nice treat once in a while to be made a meal. However, it's not going to offer the healthiest life possible. And it's certainly not able to replace the benefits of eating at home (see our post The Importance of The Family Meal).
It's not that you never have to go to the grocery store. You will likely still need to make runs for dairy, snacks and other paper products or essentials. You'll notice that once you start growing food at home, these visits are much less frequent. And that you spot quality foods with a more intelligent and mindful approach.
Once you begin caring about your food, you will begin caring about yourself. Being conscious of what you eat and watching it grow create nurturing feelings and positive thoughts. It's incredible how much your diet, perspective and mind will shift in a better direction once you begin food gardening.
Even if you're worried that you lack the necessary skills, or if every plant you've ever owned has died, don't be scared! It's the most natural and instinctive characteristic of human beings, to grow and eat food. We all need to know how to harvest and garden for survival. And It's possible for everyone to experience growth and an improved sense of well-being through food gardening. Good luck and happy gardening, Grow.Blog friends!