A change is coming, and our earth lets us know. We may carry some of winter with us; our losses and grief from last year have been numerous, but as gardeners and farmers we see what emerges from the dark soils – life.
The cycles of life and death, everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature helps our spirits – gardening does this. Gardening allows us time to reflect, connect, and share. It is an activity that nourishes the soul.
Did you know?
The benefits of gardening include:
- Improved physical health, emotional wellbeing, and social interaction- all positive ways to work through challenging times.
- Exposure to good bacteria and boosting your immune system.1
- Charity and Hope! The act of growing and giving flowers and vegetables to family, friends, and those in need is often the most precious gift.
- Gardening is also good for the health of our communities – studies show how community gardens can help us develop supportive networks when things get tough.2
Gardening mixes the need to nurture and be nurtured. If you have ever planted a seed and watched it grow to fruit – you know what I mean. If you don’t and want to get started planting – start exploring by checking out an almanac for beginners: https://bit.ly/3w7IdeG! Who doesn’t like to play in the dirt? Let’s get digging!
The Farm at St. Joe’s provides space for hospital staff to tend to the land and one another. If you are interested in volunteering or learning about our other programs, visit: https://stjoesfarm.org/
Come volunteer with us! FarmVolunteers@stjoeshealth.org
How do I start a garden?
The Basics of Planting and Growing a Vegetable Garden? – By Catherine Boeckmann – 2/2021
Getting Started in Cut-Flowers – by Debra Prinzing, SlowFlowers.com, Johnny Seeds 2021
How do I involve my community?
Effective Community Engagement – By Marcia Eames-Sheavly, Lori Brewer, and Bobby Smith II (Cornell Garden Based Learning)
Who can I contact in my area?
Local Harvest – www.localharvest.org
Put in your location and you can find community gardens, local farms, farmers markets and more.
USDA Community Garden Guide – https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_PLANTMATERIALS/publications/mipmcot9407.pdf
Liz is a Registered Nurse who has worked in diverse health care environments in triage care, community health and rehabilitation. Her passion for facilitating educational and therapeutic experiences in the outdoors has led her to horticultural therapy where she designs and facilitates garden-based therapeutic programming to increase human health and wellbeing. Concurrent passions for community health and gardening/farming brought Liz to The Farm at St. Joe’s in the role of Farm Program Manager. She is a passionate gardener and has worked on a number of farms, cultivating health and community through plants.