Gardening For Your Health

June 2, 2022

Spring has Sprung and the blackflies are back! Have you botany plants yet?

All clover the world, healthcare professionals and researchers alike have been telling us for years to get active and get outside.  As we emerge from the pandemic into better weather, a great activity that may help lift your spirits is gardening!  Not only will you get your body moving, but the sunshine can help with sleep (melatonin), mood (serotonin) and even strengthen your immune system (vitamin D). Additionally, there are bacteria in the soil that have been shown to stimulate serotonin production as well.

Getting into the garden can help us learn to practice acceptance and help reduce the pursuit of perfection.   Med-I-Well’s Manager of Operations Gregg Fabris says “it’s not all about letting go of perfection, but I also get a sense of accomplishment from my garden.”  He looks forward to this season because of the connection it’s growing with his son. “My little guy and I are able to share some great bonding moments and fun out in the garden.”

Toon van Lankvelt, Med-I-Well’s Program Development Lead grew up farming.  He reminds us about the community that growing builds and the excitement that it brought him as a youth.  He has frond memories “guessing the weight of the giant zucchini at the local fair” growing up and “hopes to encourage a relationship between my boys and food they eat” though gardening.  

As a nurse and health coach, I encourage everyone to try their hand at gardening or growing.  There is a real satisfaction in creating and nurturing something beautiful and useful.  It helps to ground me and I find a lot of peace while I’m enjoying the fruits of my labour.  Not only that, but it really helps to cultivate a growth mindset – you won’t beleaf how much there is to learn!!  Don’t be intimidated though, jump in and get your hands dirty!

Locally, you might consider the Sudbury 4-H Association, the Sudbury Horticultural Society or even vendors at the Sudbury Farmers Market for tips and advice.  You can even check out Sudbury Shared Harvest or the local food forests and community gardens.  They are always looking for volunteers if you are eager to learn or don’t have space at your own residence.

Once May arrives I can barely herb my enthusiasm, so this year I treated myself to a little plastic greenhouse to put my seedlings out early.  Are you waiting for the full moon in June or have you already planted your sprouts?! Let us know in the comments below and share your garden pics this summer using hashtag #mediwellgrows

Allyson Norton, RN CCNE

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