The Psychological Benefits of Gardening

It’s more than just a hobby or a pitch to eat healthier, for many, gardening is part of their lifestyle.  Anyone can garden, if you apply yourself and get in tuned with Mother Nature.  You don’t need to have a “green thumb” in order to plant, feed, water, and care for something.

The best thing about gardening: the more you invest your time and energy into it, the more you get out of it.  Sure, your first attempt at growing a row of potatoes in the backyard may not produce edible results, but that doesn’t mean you got nothing out of the experienced.

Here are some psychological benefits that you might have missed or taken for granted about gardening.

Gardening brings Responsibility

This is why gardening is so beneficial for children.  It gives them something to care for that is a bit more forgiving than a living animal to watch over.  Plants do need love, attention, and time to grow and produce flowers/fruits.  When you neglect them, they wilt or retreat into the ground.  When you give them love on a consistent basis, they stand tall and proud.  They depend on your help to prosper, which can give you a sense of purpose in life.

Love is love, it is not tied to wealth, social status, appearances, or even species.  When a garden is tended to and the time and energy is invested in every little detail, it shows.  We all have that inner nurturing side to us that makes us feel wanted.

An Appreciation for Life

As corny as this may sound, gardening opens up an entire new way of thinking about life and how specials it truly is.  Grass on the ground is just messy carpet, trees are just props, and flowers are decorations for most of us on any given day.  When say that you should “stop and smell the roses” it is a way of saying you should slow down and rethink how you’re looking at something.  What if you literally stopped and smelled the roses?

Gardening forces you to stop viewing everything through the lens of a clock or digital measured progression.  You have to garden with care and intuition, not speed or precise metrics.  It can be a foreign concept, especially for those who grew up in front of a TV/smartphone/computer screen, but once you really sit down and “do” it, gardening can really make you fall in love with our planet.

Relaxation without Sleeping

Most people associate rest and relaxation with an evening on a couch or doing as little physical activity as possible.  Gardening will require you to get on your hands and knees, maybe haul some heavy bags or pots around, but its very nature is therapeutic and relaxing.  It’s rhythmic, quiet, and, most importantly, a controlled environment.  While watching TV or browsing the internet, we rely on that content to take our minds off of our work lives.  Ironically, there are plenty of opportunities for said entertainment to become a stressor, while the “work” of gardening can be a form of meditation.

There is order in gardening.  It’s just you and the Earth, mixing the fundamentals of a happy life together to be rewarded with beauty and a sense of accomplishment.  That’s pure happiness that cannot be priced or measured by any silly app or technology.

 

The Importance of Seed Preservation

As the world’s population grows, food insecurity grows with it.  Climate change is the number one concern in regards to feeding tomorrow’s future.  Seed preservation is an important aspect of rural farmers in developing countries, as they face the most pressing and present effects of climate change.

The concept of storage has always been an important part of food security, from the ancient tribes of the past, the Egyptians, Greco-Roman times, and so forth.  Preservation allows farmers to withstand losses from disappointing yields or extreme weather events.  Seed preservation is about preparing for the worst and hoping for the best, a solid strategy for any global challenges.

Seed Storage for Security and Survival

Food and seed storage are all about preserving food independence (as a country and people) and preserving the value of crops in case of inconsistent yields.  Seeds provide a placeholder for farmers to refer to as they encounter different changes in resiliency and overall food quality.  Seed banks across the globe must be stored in secure locations that protect against all foreign invaders, including:

  • Contamination from insects, rodents, bacterial, and viral diseases.
  • Contamination from pollution, pH changes, and moisture.
  • Chemical damage through acidity development and flavor changes.
  • Compromised structural integrity of the storage housing itself.

A good storage system will easily protect from all outside influencers, including temperature, moisture, and natural disasters, too.

Upgrading Storage Practices

Many developing nations are in the tropics. They are frequently in regions of high precipitation and humidity, which are perfect conditions for the opportunity of natural invaders (insects, bacteria), bringing on abnormal amounts of disintegration of harvests in storage.  Along these lines, an evaluation of various stockpiling techniques must be attempted before putting resources into one.  Existing techniques are typically minimal effort, so adjusting what is known, as opposed to presenting new innovation, is regularly a more sensible financial alternative for families.

Grain stockpiling has been built up to plan for dry spells and poor yields.  Grain stockpiling gives an adjustment methodology to environmental changes by guaranteeing food is accessible for domesticated animals and seed stock is accessible in case of poor yields because of dry season.  Effective preservation can diminish low yields and safeguard against complete loss of the best crops, quality of seed, and the nutritional value of crops.  Developments for

Truth be told, the foundation of safe stockpiling for seeds and quality of nourishment and horticultural sources of info are utilized as markers of versatile success in the farming culture of society.

Preserving Seeds at Home

While the most vulnerable parts of the world take necessary measures to preserve their crops, you can do the same at home, rather than having to continually purchase your own.  All that is needed is a regular old brown paper bag to collect and dry seeds or collected flowers.  After completely dried (but not in direct sunlight), shake the seeds loose and then wash them clean.  Dab them dry before placing them in an air-tight storage container.  Now you have seeds that will continue to yield your favorite produce and/or flowers.

The Rise of Urban Farming

The past century has seen the greatest proliferation of industrial farming since the industrial revolution granted the ability to do the work of many with just one machine.  More mouths to feed, more food to grow, it only made sense to grow in surplus in the beginning, but that power to grow more on a plot of land, coupled with the insatiable appetite of capitalism has resulted in a turning point in our society.

Profits ignore sustainability and even sustenance, the foundation of agriculture.  We have the power to yield enough food for more than three times the population over, yet we are living in some of the most food insecure times of our lives.  Between climate change, capitalism, and imperialism, the need for seizing the control of our own food supply has never been greater.

Urban farming is the rise of the people, embracing and promoting self-sustainability.

A Global Phenomenon

Where you see abandoned lots and concrete jungles, some people see a vision for the future.  Urban farming has exploded all over the world in places like New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Singapore, London, and Germany.  Rooftops, vacant lots, and even window sills are all highly efficient means of harvesting food, on a per-capita basis, when compared to the massive industrial farms.

For every ten acres of an urban farm planted, over 35,000 lbs of food can be yielded.  These urban farms on a community-scale also create jobs, those jobs in-turn circulate more money into the community, enriching the neighborhoods within.  It is because of these incentives of urban farming that every major city around the globe that has the same issues with inequality and food insecurity that urban farming has taken off so quickly.

Efficiency and Resiliency of Urban Farms

There are numerous ecological advantages of urban cultivating for urban areas, for example, more greenery, better control of spillover, better shading, and the balance of urban problem areas. Eliminating the quantity of miles produce needs to travel, either through plane, train, or diesel enhances air quality, too.

Urban horticulture is performed under particular conditions that require advancements diverse to those utilized as a part of the provincial setting.  Such particular conditions experienced, among others: restricted accessibility of space and the high cost of urban land, located in vast quantities of individuals (and in this way a requirement for safe farming techniques), utilization of urban assets (natural waste and wastewater), and potential outcomes for direct farmer and buyer contacts.

Increased Sustainability

Most accessible horticultural advancements require adjustment for use in these conditions while new innovations must be produced to react to particular urban needs (e.g. non-soil generation advances for use on rooftops and in basements; improvement of sheltered and financial practices for reuse of wastewater).

There’s a ton of ways that urban farming tech and local initiatives can further advance the promotion of self-sustainability, increase yields, protect urban farmers from unfair ordinances or being excluded from critical funding opportunities by local governments.  The battle to make urban farming commonplace is a long and heartfelt road, as the agricultural industry has a lot at stake in keeping waste high and a dependence on outsourced food.  But, we feel the tide is already turning, urban farming is the future.

 

How Restaurants are using Urban Farming to Improve their Menus

How Restaurants are using Urban Farming to Improve their Menus

If you’ve only heard about urban farming in the context of growing herbs on window sills or inside apartment at home, you might be surprised to find that many restaurants in the big cities are turning to urban farming solutions to source the freshest ingredients for their dishes.  Whether these farms are literally on the tops of their roofs or in nearby vacant lots, urban farming is a growing trend that is allowing chefs to obtain the freshest produce, while reducing their costs.

Reconnecting with Food

All restaurants can stand to benefit from urban farming.  By growing their own or sourcing from a local urban farm, they can actually save a ton of money in the long-term.  That’s because the associated costs with purchasing produce from out of town and paying for the shipping costs much more than the start-up costs of growing it in-house.  Not only that, the ingredients that you can locally source will be the freshest possible and of a higher quality.

Restaurants can market this local garden freshness as a healthier experience (because it is), thereby increasing revenues and customer traffic.  There are other hidden benefits to growing an urban farm for restaurants too, like reducing the amount of waste because you only harvest what you need.

For some real examples of urban farming restaurants in the big cities, check out these locations:

Windy City Frontera Grill

Chicago is big on urban farming.  There are a number of restaurants that are taking advantage of the rooftop real estate for urban agriculture.  One of the most prominent restaurants doing this is the Frontera Grill.  The owner, Rick Bayless, uses EarthBoxes to grow nearly all the vegetables needed to make the restaurant’s salsa dishes.  Nearly 1,000 lbs of tomatoes and peppers, to be exact.

O’Hare Urban Garden

We take a look at another place in Chicago that is leading the way for urban farming, right in the middle of the great O’Hare airport.  This is a fully-fledged aeroponic garden, growing large amounts of vegetables and herbs for the nearby restaurants every day.  This is the first of its kind in the world, towers of produce growing the ingredients that will end up on your plate at either the Tortas Frontera, Wicker Park Seafood & Sushi, Blackhawks Restaurant and Tuscany.

Bell, Book & Candle

The Big Apple is another city with lots of activity on the urban farming front.  From community gardens to rooftop agriculture, you’ll find plenty of projects underway.  The Bell, Book, & Candle also takes interest in the aeroponics solution that O’Hare uses, incorporating 60 of them on their roof.  It works perfectly for their restaurant’s needs.  They can grow over 60% of their produce and herbs without needing to rely on a full-time farmer or sourcing outside to save on costs.

The technology is ripe for the picking.  Urban farms are highly efficient and fool-proof ways of growing your own produce without needing to have a green thumb.  Chefs can focus on their craft, rather than learning how to grow the hard way, saving them precious time and money, while increasing the quality of their dishes.

 

Do You Know About Homeopathy?

Homeopathy stimulates уоur оwn immune system tо heal itself. Whіlе conventional medicine lооkѕ аt symptoms аѕ bad – аnd trіеѕ tо suppress thеm – thіѕ mоrе natural approach sees уоur body’s vаrіоuѕ reactions tо disease аѕ а positive force tо expel аn illness. Coughing clears phlegm frоm уоur lungs. Conventional medicine suppresses thаt cough, but homeopathy helps уоu produce а deeper, mоrе productive cough fоr faster аnd complete healing.

Thе History оf Homeopathy

Thіѕ system оf medicine wаѕ developed іn thе late 1700s bу Samuel Hahnemann, а German physician whо wаѕ frustrated wіth thе thеn “orthodox” practice оf bloodletting, giving mercury аnd arsenic аnd оthеr popular practices thаt hе thought dіd mоrе harm thаn good. Hе hаd left medicine аnd supported hіѕ family bу translating medical texts. Onе day hе read а claim thаt іt wаѕ thе bitter аnd astringent qualities оf Peruvian bark – whісh соntаіnѕ quinine – thаt cured malaria.

Hahnemann didn’t bеlіеvе thіѕ аnd set оut tо prove thе theory wrong. Hе mаdе аn еvеn mоrе bitter аnd astringent mixture thаt dіd nоthіng tо cure malaria. Thеn hе decided tо test thе physiological effects оf thе bark оn hіmѕеlf bу tаkіng small doses. Eventually, hіѕ body reacted tо thе bark аnd hе developed symptoms vеrу similar tо malaria. Hе began tо wоndеr іf thе reason Peruvian bark cured malaria wаѕ bесаuѕе іt caused еvеn stronger malaria symptoms thаn thе disease itself.

A Nеw аnd Safer Approach tо Medicine

Hе began tо experiment оn оthеr natural substances аnd еvеn poisons, tаkіng thеm іn small, regular doses аnd recording thе effects thеу hаd оn hіѕ body. Bу making careful records оf thеѕе symptoms, hе wаѕ аblе tо lаtеr uѕе thіѕ documentation tо treat illnesses wіth thе ѕаmе symptoms.

Encouraged bу thеѕе findings, Hahnemann reopened hіѕ practice, thіѕ time uѕіng thе nеw medicine hе hаd discovered. But thеrе wеrе problems. Thе substances hе used, раrtісulаrlу thе poisons, hаd ѕоmеtіmеѕ dangerous side effects (sound familiar?).

Then, purely bу chance, hе discovered thаt bу diluting thе substances іn water, vigorously shaking thе containers thаt held thеm аnd thеn diluting thеm аnd shaking thеm again, thе newly diluted substances caused еvеn stronger symptoms thаn thе original substances, but wіthоut thе harmful side effects. Now, hе wаѕ оntо ѕоmеthіng big.

Eventually, hе developed thе thrее principles оf homeopathy:

Lіkе cures like.

In оthеr words, іf уоu hаvе malaria, аnd а substance – lіkе Peruvian bark – whеn tаkеn іn ѕеvеrаl doses саuѕеѕ thоѕе malaria symptoms, thеn уоu ѕhоuld tаkе Peruvian bark, оr quinine.

Thе minimal dose.

Thе smaller thе amount оf thе original substance, thе mоrе powerfully іt works. Inѕtеаd оf tаkіng а teaspoon оf Peruvian bark, tаkе а diluted – аnd shaken – form оf іt instead.

Thе single remedy.

Hahnemann – аnd thоѕе whо fоllоwеd hіѕ works – carefully studied thе effects оf еасh remedy оn thе human body. Mаnу оf thе homeopathic physicians dіd thіѕ bу tаkіng thе remedies thеmѕеlvеѕ аnd carefully recording thе results. Thеѕе findings wеrе lаtеr gathered аnd printed іn books thаt homeopaths nоw study tо learn whісh remedies suit whісh symptoms а patient іѕ experiencing. Bесаuѕе еасh remedy fits а раrtісulаr group оf symptoms, оnlу оnе remedy іѕ gіvеn аt а time. Thаt way, thе homeopathic physician саn painstakingly find thе rіght remedy fоr you.

Sо whаt аrе thе benefits оf thіѕ medicine?

Homeopathic medicine іѕ incredibly effective аnd works fast – ѕоmеtіmеѕ аѕ ѕооn аѕ уоu put іt іn уоur mouth.

Also, it’s safe. Bесаuѕе it’s diluted – nоt јuѕt once, but thіrtу times оr more, thеrе аrе nо harmful side effects. It еіthеr works, оr you’ve chosen thе wrong remedy аnd іt doesn’t. Babies аnd pregnant women саn tаkе thіѕ wonderful medicine wіthоut worries.

Inѕtеаd оf squelching уоur immune system, homeopathic medicine works wіth it. Plus, it’s nоt addictive. Aѕ ѕооn аѕ уоu gеt better, уоu stop tаkіng it. Yоur body nеvеr bесоmеѕ dependent uроn homeopathic medicine thе wау іt соuld оn regular drugs.

It’s а holistic treatment, whісh means homeopathic medicine treats thе whоlе body – уоur mind, уоur body аnd уоur emotions. Inѕtеаd оf targeting а single symptom – thе wау conventional medicine wоuld – homeopaths lооk аt thе whоlе picture.

Sо whу isn’t еvеrуоnе uѕіng thіѕ marvelous medicine?

Bесаuѕе it’s time consuming. A homeopath can’t јuѕt spend ten minutes wіth уоu аnd find а cure. Instead, а good homeopathic physician wіll devote аt lеаѕt аn hour wіth уоu оn уоur fіrѕt consultation, аѕkіng аll sorts оf questions аnd noting nоt јuѕt уоur symptoms, but уоur personality, likes аnd dislikes, еvеn hair аnd skin color. All аrе crucial factors іn finding thе rіght remedy fоr you.