Tag Archives: gardening

How a Home Garden Can Create a Healthier You

iGnite_JournalJuly24_2016

Point to Ponder:
What is your favorite produce? Have you ever tried to grow that produce at your own house?

iGnite_Jessie

by Jessie D’Andrea

This past spring my husband and I decided that we wanted to test our green thumbs. We had so much fun researching the best way to start a garden, from soil, to sunlight, to what will grow and thrive in Austin, Texas. We decided to plant a variety of plants in early March: tomatoes, carrots, okra, watermelon, basil, peppers, eggplant, and squash. From the moment we planted our seeds and young plants we felt a responsibility to help those plants grow and produce. It has been surprisingly fulfilling to watch our beautiful garden grow from seeds to beautiful fruit producing plants within months. I believe humans are like gardens, too. We need to tend to and nourish ourselves with water, sunlight, community, and proper fuel so that we can grow mentally, physically, and spiritually stronger. Gardening has done so much for Jon and me! Here are the top four:

1. Stress Relief: Studies show that gardening can fight stress better than other relaxing leisure activities. We as humans have a finite capacity that directed attention from cell phones and email require. When we reach our limit we become irritable and stressed out. This “attention fatigue” can be reversed by replenishing yourself through nature. When you are outside gardening without your electronics attached to your body, you are able to experience the wind, sunshine, dirt on your hands, and the aroma of your plants. This releases stress and refuels your body. (Lavender is great to grow in your garden and use in your home for a wonderful aroma and stress release herb.)

2. Nutrition: The food you grow is the healthiest food you can eat and it tastes better because it’s fresh and you grew it! I love eating our tomatoes right off the plant! And, studies show that kids who garden are healthier — children tend to eat more fruits and vegetables if they have a garden at home.

3. Exercise and Time Outdoors (what iGnite is all about!): Gardening gets you outside in the fresh air and it also gets your blood circulating! Gardening can be a low impact workout. Digging and weeding are repetitive tasks that require strength and stretching.

4. Community: Gardening has brought us closer to our neighbors. We enjoy spending evenings outside sharing our produce and gardening tips, or just chatting about life. If we had space in our front yard, I would consider planting a small garden in the front, maybe with a turquoise table in the middle!

God has given us this amazingly beautiful world to live in. There is nothing more magical than watching a seed sprout into a flower producing plant which soon gives us food that is nourishment to our body. Lets enjoy it to the fullest by getting out in nature and planting seeds to grow His wonders!


Action Item:
Even though it’s the heat of summer, this is the time to be planting a fall vegetable garden. Go visit your local nursery and learn about what types of fruits and veggies are best suited for the upcoming season so you can start a garden plan.


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Gardening 101: What to Plant in April

Garden

In honor of the approaching Earth Day (Monday, April 22 if you’re curious), we’d like to touch on the beauty of growing your own veggies, fruits and herbs. If you’re at all like me, the idea has always sounded appealing, but I have yet to actually jump in and take a stab at it. I think mainly because I just plain haven’t made the effort to learn anything about it!  So, now — a chance to get informed. Not sure what to plant?  The county and the all-knowing internet has made finding this out pretty easy for us, providing calendars of ‘what to plant when’ online.

So what’s on the list for planting in April in Travis County?

Between April 1 & April 15, plant:

  • Lima Beans
  • Snap Beans
  • Beets
  • Cantaloupe
  • Chard
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Okra
  • Black-eye Peas
  • Pepper Plants
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • New Zealand Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomato Plants
  • Watermelon

Between April 15 & April 30, plant:

  • Lima Beans
  • Snap Beans
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Okra
  • Black-eye Peas
  • Pepper Plants
  • New Zealand Spinach
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes

For a full list and endless additional resources for gardening in Travis County, visit http://www.co.travis.tx.us/agext/garden/veggies/planting/aprjun.asp

Not in Travis County? Check out your county’s .gov website for resources specific to your region.

Go ahead, give it a go — and let us know how it turns out for you.  Happy planting, and happy early Earth Day!

 

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