If you want to be happy in life, create your own vegetable garden
THIS IS WHAT AN OLD CHINESE PROVERB CONCLUDES, AND AS IS USUAL WITH THESE SAYINGS, THEY CONTAIN A LOT OF WISDOM.
So much so that the cultivation of vegetable gardens is included as a programme in more and more institutions and organisations that promote active ageing. This is due to the proven therapeutic effects of vegetable patches and gardens in order to improve quality of life and the cognitive capacity of adults.
Multiple positive stimulus converge to create this effect, activating our senses and unlocking a feeling of calm, tranquillity and happiness whilst watching the plants and vegetables grow, looking after them and why not, including them fresh in our daily meals.
Contact with nature helps a great deal. It’s something that everyone likes, it breaks up the routine and takes us back to our roots. Although, on some occasions, the work can be hard, tasks such as watering can generate a sense of happiness that compensate the effort made. Looking after plants, albeit to enjoy beautiful gardens with flowers or to grow some vegetables for your consumption needs, also help us to become attuned to our environment and to continue learning new things about the properties of food. This may include things like how to plan a varied vegetable garden, when to sow the seeds, how to look after and harvest each type of plant, using tools and equipment or which specific species require water, fertilizer, pruning, etc. Gardening in a group with other interested people or through workshops or local initiatives, can also facilitate the generation of new friendships and to share fun moments and work as part of a team.
If you look on the internet, you will find all different types of references, manuals, techniques and useful information for if you decide to transform your Windows or balconies, or give that patch of land you have a new use. Below, we provide you with some advice to get you off to a good start:
- You must have patience. Each plant has its own cycles. Enjoy each phase of the process. This also implies some consistency in order to reach the objectives that you aim to achieve.
- Make it easy for yourself, especially at the beginning. Start with your own terrace or windows. Work with raised plant pots or cultivation tables. You will be surprised what you can grow.
- With a space measuring 1-metre-wide and 6 metres in length, and using deep plots and crop rotation, you would be able to supply a family with green vegetables, fruits and vegetables for a whole year.
- Enjoy yourself throughout the process. Don’t get frustrated if some plants don’t provide what you expected. Try others, ask for advice and we’re sure that you will obtain results.
- Little by little, and without you even noticing, the plants around you will start to affect you positively: they will regulate your blood pressure and heart rate, reduce your anxiety and feeling of fatigue. They will even help contribute to alleviating your pain or accelerate your recuperation when receiving medical treatment or after surgery.