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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

March 2013 Publisher Letter

Feb 26, 2013 03:45PM

Each year, putting together the March Food & Garden issue reminds me how important it is to nourish my body with quality foods. I read the articles and begin to daydream about harvesting fresh, healthy organic food from my own garden. In my mind, I can taste the sweet, vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes and hear the crunch of cultivated snap peas. The vivid colors of seedlings maturing into crops and flowers are the kind of thing that inspires artists to paint lovely garden landscapes.

Unfortunately, my own garden existed in my childhood, but today only in my imagination. But this month, I’m newly motivated to cast aside all the familiar excuses – too much work, not enough know-how and time – to find out, once and for all, if I do have a green thumb. If you’ve been searching for some motivation to start your own home garden, look no further than our feature article, “Urban Gardening Trends.” You’ll learn that you don’t need to live on a farm to grow your own farm-fresh food. The authors point out that 30 percent of U.S. households are now growing food for their families. Even apartment dwellers are finding creative ways to raise helpful quantities of produce on balconies, patios and rooftops. Follow a few simple tips and soon you’ll be sowing the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor, too.

Aside from improving our environment and having your own source of flowers, fruit and vegetables, we often overlook the other benefits that gardening provides us. It supplies exercise and depending on the task, many different muscle groups are used, increasing flexibility and strength. Gardening offers an opportunity to get outside, unwind and connect with nature, which is a wonderful stress reliever. We are all so plugged in and connected that working in a garden is one way to get away from the constant barrage of information.

A garden also teaches patience. After all, you can’t rush nature. Seedlings will grow at the pace they are supposed to, no faster or slower, regardless of your own limited time or pressure. The mental health benefits of gardening are so strong that a field of medicine called horticultural therapy has been developed to help people.

So, what do you say? Is it time to plant your own garden? I say, why not? I’m confident I can produce a small yield of something edible this first year, and with some trial and error, I might even pleasantly surprise myself.

So let’s get digging and get dirty...and remember to feel good, live simply and laugh more.

Dave Korba Natural Awakenings

Dave Korba, Publisher

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