The benefits of gardening
It’s National Gardening Week and gardeners around the UK will be out in force getting their lawns, pots and vegeatble patches ready for the summer. Find out how you can get involved at https://www.rhs.org.uk/get-involved/national-gardening-week.
Having your own vegetable patch or allotment allows you to grow your own produce and enjoy homegrown foods. Ideally, you will need a nice sunny patch for growing vegetables which at least gets five hours of sun per day. You can either grow vegetables in the ground, use large pots or even use grow bags.
Growing your own vegetables gives you a sense of pride, knowing that the meal you’re cooking includes some homegrown produce. You’ll want to try the foods you grow and it’ll also encourage you to eat more vegetables and be healthier. For example, beetroot is packed with nutrients and fibre and rhubarb contains high levels of calcium.
Surrounding yourself with nature is also good for your mental health as it is a great stress reliever. Gardening can also be therapeutic as it allows us to focus on a physical task and escape from any stress in our daily lives.
British gardening expert, Alan Titchmarsh says, “It's proven that plants and gardening have a positive effect on our mental health and happiness. They uplift us, they heal us, and they bring us closer to nature”.
Gardening allows you to get outdoors and enjoy some physical activity from weeding to harvesting. You can even enjoy some fresh air and sunshine but don’t forget to apply sun cream beforehand, especially during the summer. Get the kids involved too, it’ll encourage them to eat their greens at dinner time, knowing they’ve helped out.
You might be delighted to learn that the number of calories burnt from 30 minutes of gardening is comparable to playing badminton, volleyball or practising yoga.
Have you ever wondered how long vegetables have been sat on a supermarket shelf, in the back of a lorry or in a warehouse? With your own vegetable garden, you can enjoy fresh foods being picked straight from your patch to cooking within no time at all. It can’t get any fresher than that.
Reduce food waste
Pick your vegetables when you need them. Instead of buying produce a few days or a week in advance, you can choose to harvest what you want when you need it, meaning your food won’t go to waste. You’ll also be less likely to throw food away when you’ve spent time and effort watching it grow over the course of a month or so.
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