How My Garden Became My Happy Place and Health Booster

How My Garden Became My Happy Place and Health Booster

I'm so grateful to have found gardening at the busiest time of my life. As a new father and as a busy working chef, life couldn't have gotten any more hectic. Gardening taught me to slow down, connect to the natural world around me, and nurture one of my biggest passions, the local food system. Through this post, I'd love to share with you a few of the ways gardening has changed my life, hoping it might inspire you to find some time in the soil, too!

Discovering Mindfulness in the Garden

Mindfulness is the art of being fully present and immersed in the moment. At the time, as I said, I lived in a very fast-paced world. While gardening I noticed time would slow down, which allowed me to be more aware and to pay attention to all that was going on from seeds popping up, insects, and the feel of the soil. For me, gardening became a meditative practice, a time when I could simply be, with my hands in the dirt, under the open sky.

A Boost to Physical Health

Gardening, I found, is surprisingly good exercise. Whether you're turning the soil, pulling weeds, or harvesting, your body is in constant motion. Plus, the added bonus of soaking up vitamin D while I tended to my plants was a game-changer for my health. 

Mental Health Miracles

The mental health benefits I’ve experienced from gardening are pretty amazing. It’s incredible how just a few hours in the garden can significantly reduce my stress levels. My garden has become my sanctuary, a place where I can find peace and regain my balance, no matter the chaos of the day.

Emotional Well-being and Connection

Gardening has deepened my emotional connection to the world around me. It has taught me to find joy in simple things and appreciate nature's cycles. This connection has brought a sense of wonder and gratitude into my life that I hadn't experienced before.

Eating Healthier, Naturally

As a chef, I know how gardening influences our diets and overall health. There’s something incredibly satisfying about eating food you’ve grown yourself. The fresh, homegrown fruits, vegetables, and herbs from my garden are not only delicious and nutritious but also encourage me to make healthier food choices. 

Fostering Community and Friendships

Gardening has also expanded my social circle. Joining a community garden as well as the online garden community introduced me to a group of people who share my interests and values. These connections have provided me with a sense of belonging and support. The shared experiences and knowledge among fellow gardeners have been invaluable, making my gardening journey all the more enriching.

Contributing to a Greener Planet

Beyond the personal gains, I’ve become acutely aware of the positive environmental impact of gardening. It’s empowering to know that my small patch of green contributes to biodiversity, helps pollinators, and reduces my carbon footprint. This realization has deepened my commitment to gardening and environmental stewardship. A hyper-local and seasonal diet is one of the best ways to love the planet and dramatically decreases the negative impacts of our globalized diet.

A Path to a Fuller Life

Reflecting on my gardening journey, I'm amazed at how it has transformed my life. It’s more than just a hobby; it’s a pathway to the best tasting food, better health, and a deeper connection to nature and community. Gardening has taught me patience, resilience, and the joy of living in the moment.

If you're looking for a way to enrich your life, I can't recommend gardening enough. It doesn’t matter if you have a vast garden, a small balcony, or just a windowsill for a few pots. The act of nurturing plants can bring profound joy and satisfaction. So, why not give it a try? You might just discover a passion that feeds your soul, enriches your body, and brings peace to your mind, just as it did for me.

Happy gardening,

Josh, Co-Founder

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