10 May 2011

Reap What You Sow

I'm so excited to be planting my first vegetable garden this summer! There are so many benefits to gardening to help the mind, body and planet. Gardening is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air, and it reduces your carbon footprint.

recent article, Rodale, publishers of Women's Health, Runners World and Prevention, suggests that, in addition to the physical exercise and satisfaction of seeing your plants bloom, gardening also can help lower risks of osteoperosis and diabetes, and it can help improve sleep. Studies show that people with dimensia and anxiety benefit from the calming effects of gardening, and in turn, have improved quality of sleep.

This past weekend, the Sailor and I worked on weeding two years of overgrowth in the beds and putting down topsoil.

We haven't made a final decision on what plants we're going to grow. We'll definitely try a couple different kinds of tomatoes. There's nothing like fresh caprese salad in the summer!

And I'm sure the garden grown tomatoes will put Mom and Dad's topsy turvy planter to shame! 

We're also thinking of planting basil, cucumbers, squash and sweet potatoes. It's well past the time to consult the Farmers Almanac about planting and growing seasons, but hopefully we're still in the zone. This year, we'll have a guess at the right time to plant -- probably Memorial Day weekend, based on convenience. Next year, we'll be experts and consider soil temperature, altitude and slope of land, nearby waters, and day length, as the Almanac advises.

Cross your fingers that Mother Nature cooperates and the animals stay away so that we can reap the rewards of our little project.

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