Grow Your Self Podcast
Published May 27, 2020 by Nicole Burke

7 Reasons Gardening is Good for Mental Health

Filed Under:
mental health
health

What was that? You thought gardening was just about food and your stomach and yummy things that you can eat again and again? Well, today I am going to show you how gardening is actually more about your head, your mind, and your brain, first. And then, of course, it's also about your stomach. In today's episode we are going to dive into the fact that gardening makes you happy. It is good for your head first, even more important than the food you're going to get from the garden. So, I can't wait to inspire you to grow your own happiness this season in today's episode.  

7 reasons gardening is good for mental health

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7 reasons gardening is good for mental health

This episode is brought to you by my Kick Start Your Kitchen Garden Workshop. Listen, we are just about to head into summertime, but that does not mean it's too late to start your own raised bed kitchen garden. So I have a great kickstart workshop that’s super affordable and it's only one hour long. It's going to show you how you can make your own raised bed kitchen garden happen this summer, not the next one. So go check it out at www.gardenary.com/kickstart. Now, let's dive in to find out how the garden is so good for your head. I can't wait to go through this episode with you together today.

Let's do it! 

Kickstart Your Kitchen Garden Workshop with Nicole Burke

Welcome back to the Grow Your Self Podcast. I am so excited that you're here today. We are talking about a super important topic today - your brain, your mind, your thoughts. This month is Mental Health Awareness so I’m super excited to dive into this topic today. I think it’s incredibly important especially given our current circumstances.  

I want to stop here before I go any further, and just say that if you are struggling with harmful thoughts, with suicidal thoughts, or with serious depression, don't be ashamed about it and please, please reach out for help. The Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. Please stop right now and call them to get help. I'm just choking up thinking about losing any of you. So if you're having hard times, that is totally a normal part of the human experience. Don't do anything that would keep you from growing with us tomorrow. So call that number if you need help.  

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

We all have our ups and downs and we all have days where our thoughts are challenging and hard to control. I've had my ups and downs in my own life too. So today I want to talk to you about how the garden can be part of the healing and the health that our minds need in this current day and age.  

So I'm going to open up with a couple of lines from my new book, Kitchen Garden Revival which is now out everywhere. If you haven’t ordered it yet you can head to www.gardenary.com/book to grab your own copy!  

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Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Burke of Gardenary

Why kitchen garden?

Mental health is quickly becoming the key indicator of overall well being - depression, anxiety, stress and burnout are all serious in themselves, but those challenges are also linked to cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Our minds and bodies are connected in ways we're just starting to understand and in this fast paced and demanding world we've got to find ways to slow down, reconnect with nature, and care for ourselves again.

When you learn to grow yourself, you literally grow your self.

The biggest reason to have a kitchen garden is for your happiness. Stepping outside into the garden each day has been proven to help do just that. And there is no more practical way to push you outside than if the tastiest parts of your dinner are growing right in that spot. You've got to eat anyway, so why not pursue a mindful activity that not only feeds your mind and soul, but also fills your stomach. A kitchen garden may just be the most practical hobby you can pursue. You'll learn skills, good exercise, wake up your senses each time you step outdoors and return with an armload of fresh food.  

plant decorator

Our minds and bodies are connected in ways we're just starting to understand and in this fast paced and demanding world we've got to find ways to slow down, reconnect with nature, and care for ourselves again. When you learn to grow yourself, you literally grow your self.

Nicole Burke, Gardenary
7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

So that's from the preface of my book, Kitchen Garden Revival, and I really believe those words wholeheartedly. I tell people that I sell happiness in a box - a raised bed kitchen garden box full of soil and plants and seeds. It seems like I'm pedaling and selling the garden but really what I'm trying to sell is happiness. I deep down believe that there is happiness sitting outside your door, waiting for you to grow it yourself.

So today, I'm going to tell you why. 

When we think about gardening I think a lot of times we sometimes think it's something we've grown past as a civilization.

I know I kind of grew up with this and I see this in the media as well. I see this depicted in a lot of kid movies and shows where the characters in the story are trying to get off the farm.

I'm going to give you the most basic one I can think of at the moment but it's from the Disney movie Planes.

So, in this movie, Dusty is a crop duster. He is stuck on the farm, working to produce food and his dream is to become a jet who races around the world. The whole story is basically centered around that ambition, that he's just so ready to leave the farm.

I watched that movie years ago as I was first starting to garden and started to think of all the other storylines I'd seen where basically the whole climax of the story, can the character leave the farm. 

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

So even as I went into the field of gardening I was met with a little bit of disdain - that farming and gardening are industries that we have moved beyond as a culture.

We obviously all still want to eat but I think a lot of people who maybe are working in a desk job see that because they have that kind of education, that it’s a waste of time or not a good investment of their time to get out and dig in the dirt.  

I would like to push against that belief. I think if you look back over the evolution of the human species that it's the cultivation of the ground and the growing of food that really helped us to become who we are now. You'll see that every time people settled down and began to grow crops and foods right where they lived, that's when their civilizations really began to thrive.

I believe that is really a piece of humanity that we should maintain in some form.

I'm not at all saying we all need to be farmers, or homesteaders living off the grid, providing all of our food, but I do think that gardening, in the smallest container is vital to all human’s happiness because it is in our DNA to be connected to soil and seeds for survival. 

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

I first woke up to this reality when I moved to China and I lived in a rural area. I had grown up in the feminist movement which I'm so thankful for in so many ways because it allows me to be where I am now. But part of that movement was getting women out of the kitchen, so we had tons of frozen and packaged meals. I for one loved Snackwell's cookies, Frosted Flakes, and Rold Gold pretzels. Those were my snacks everyday after school. I was pretty disconnected from the source of my food. Food for me throughout my school years was about opening up the package and taking a bite. 

When I moved to China, especially when we would head out to these minority villages, we would spend overnights there and every bite you took was connected to a physical activity outdoors. So, in the early morning no one was eating right when they woke up. They would just head outside to gather materials for that morning's fire. They would pick the greens and pull leftovers from the evening before and start to put together a mid day meal. The first meal of the day would be around 10 AM. So they had already been outdoors for a couple of hours gathering both the materials that we eat, and also the materials to build the fire. Then they would labor throughout the rest of the day in their fields from about 10:30 to 5:30. Then they would begin to gather the materials for that evening's dinner.  

For dinner most of the time it was rice, coupled with some kind of soup. Usually it was a mixture of grains and a bone of some sort to flavor the soup. The soup would also have a wide variety of fresh vegetables. 

This was the first time I saw the connection between physical movement, outdoor time, and fresh harvests connected with eating. You wouldn’t just open a cupboard and take a bite. You couldn't just open a package or head to the store - you had to move your body and gather materials. You had to work before you could eat. This opened my eyes in a completely new way to food and to the connection of gardening with our whole selves - our bodies, and especially our heads.  

 So I want to take my own experience of the ups and downs of my mental health and show you how just the smallest amount of gardening can do so much good for your head, whoever you are.

So, I'm going to give you seven reasons why gardening is for your head first, and then for your stomach 

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

REASON 1

Gardening is Good for Mental Health Because It Gets You Outside

We know we need to get outside more often but sometimes it's kind of hard to do it. I loved reading this study about a new movement called “Park Prescriptions.” It's from a couple of psychologists and doctors who are writing what they call Park RX. They are for a variety of their patients who may struggle with obesity, mental health, and chronic conditions like hypertension or type two diabetes. They're not just prescribing medicine. They're saying hey, “You need to get outside for at least 20 minutes a day.” 

The whole article talks about how just 20 minutes outside per day will improve your happiness in spades and of course, like I said in my book, there's no better reason to step outside than if you have to go out there to get some things for dinner. I experienced this firsthand when I started gardening in Houston, and we're growing so many greens. We would have days where it was raining, days where it was cold, and days where it was dark, and I had not bought any salad because we had so much growing in the garden. So to make Jason's lunch for work or to make my lunch, I would have to go outside. I didn't have a choice. The lettuce was not sitting in the fridge. So I would find even in those five minutes of me stepping outside breathing outside air feeling whatever nature was handing me that day, that I literally came to my senses. I felt better.

There's a reason why they say you need a breath of fresh air, right? 

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

There’s this new terminology called, “eco therapy,” where they're studying the effects of time spent in nature and how it isn't just beneficial for dealing with obesity or diabetes, but it also reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.

I think it's funny that doctors love to link medicine and prescriptions with effects but they're very hesitant to draw direct lines with something as obscure as spending time outdoors, yet they continue to find with studies that people who spend more time outdoors are healthier. Their bodies are healthier but also their minds are healthier. So they found that when you're outside, it's much like having a therapy session.

It's not just the air, but it's the sounds. It’s been shown that these things can help with people’s blood pressure levels and cortisol levels. 

I think the garden is one of the best excuses to get outside more. And obviously, you know, a way to help your brain feel better. I can relate to this because honestly the years that I struggled most with depression and really hard feelings were the years where I was indoors the most. So my four years in college where I was spending tons of time studying inside with my books and my computer. 

During my two years in China, although we spent a lot of time outdoors, we also spent a lot of time in the city and the air quality wasn’t great. Culturally it was also a bit overwhelming to step outside because I was white and tall so everyone stared at me. Because of this I spent a lot of time indoors so I struggled with a lot of depression.   

Now, here in Chicago, I've really struggled with the months of cold and darkness and have found that I have to work so much harder to stay happy and to keep my mind clear than I did when I've lived in warmer climates and was able to be outdoors more often. I also experienced a lot of depression when I first had my children. I spent so much time indoors during that time but the minute I would step outside, my mood would immediately change.  

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

REASON 2:

Gardening is Good for Mental Health Because It Makes You Move Your Body 

I read a study from Michael Otto, a PhD. He’s the professor of psychology at Boston University, and he says, 

“People know that exercise helps physical outcomes. There's much less awareness though of the mental health outcomes and much, much less ability to translate this awareness into exercise action. But the link between exercise and mood is very strong. Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise, you're going to get a mood enhancement effect.” 

If you've been following me on instagram during the COVID pandemic. I have been forcing myself to get out and run for about 20 minutes every morning. Some mornings I skip, and those days?

Oh my gosh am I in a bad mood. Exercise releases endorphins, it gets our blood pumping and those things help our mind feel better. Gardening is a great form of exercise. Don't get me wrong, it’s not going to replace your Orange Theory class or your five mile run. It's not a high cardio workout where your heart is pumping and you're sweating, but it is a slow form of exercise.

One of the neat things about it that I've discovered is when I'm on my 20 minute run, I am ready for those 20 minutes to be up as soon as I get started. Right when I round that last corner and my watch tells me I've done 2.2 miles, I'm stopping. I am done and I go take a shower and grab some water. But gardening is not that kind of exercise.

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

Gardening, because it is purposeful exercise, you will actually do it for much, much longer. So instead of it being a class, it's something where you're actually taking care of business. You're doing stuff. It's almost a distraction from physical exercise. Studies have shown that when people garden, they keep their heart rate moderately high for a much longer period of time than someone who just shows up at the gym for a 30-minute workout.  

Studies show that we need to burn about 2000 calories a week with exercise. I don't know about you, but I'm always discouraged when I go for a run and I come back and see that I’ve only burned 200 calories. It's kind of a bummer when you realize how much work you have to do to burn calories and if you're just doing these short little spurts of aggressive exercise, then you're rarely going to hit your 2000 calories. However, with the slow burn of gardening you can burn off about 300 calories an hour, doing things like weeding, trimming, and raking. You'll build muscle tone, strength, and you’ll be out in the garden for a long time which in turn, is going to make you happier.  

I talk some about my food addiction and challenges with eating disorders in the episode called Fill Up On The Good Stuff.

During certain seasons of my life I would try to replace my issues of overeating with overexercising. 

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

When I was in China I started to see how food was connected to physical exercise for the people I was with. There's this very strong connection between moving our bodies physically, and then getting to eat. For example, a gatherer has to take a long walk to find the berries, then you bring them back and you eat them. For the people I was working with in China, it was a long stroll out in the morning to gather all the greens and the wood for the fire. 

It's just so natural and such a big part of our human experience to connect physical movement with eating. I think there's a connection inside of our brains that longs for that. So when we spend so much time indoors, not being connected to the way our food grows, our whole human selves think, “Something is wrong here.” We know somewhere deep down inside of who we are, that there's got to be some kind of movement of our bodies before we've earned that bite. This is very similar to working for an employer. You show up and do the job, then you get the paycheck. There is a back and forth energy. You give something and then you get something. It's weird if someone just gives you a check and you didn't work for it, right? Or if you did the work and didn’t get a check, that wouldn’t be okay. So I think the same thing is going on in our brains with our food. Even though I am no by no means a homesteader, I have a very strong connection in my brain with stepping outside to tend the garden, and then coming back in to eat the food. 

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

REASON 3

Gardening is Good for Mental Health Because It Makes You Feel Accomplished

When I started gardening I always wondered, “Why does gardening make me feel so good?” I was kind of wondering how gardening compared to having a pet and wasn’t sure if I needed to have a pet AND a garden. Turns out, I needed both. So this article that I read actually said that one of the reasons having a pet makes people happy is because they spend so much time nurturing that pet and then they get to watch that pet thrive. You get to see the results of what you do. The actually article compared that with gardening. It’s the same thing where you nurture those plants, you water them, you prune them, and then you get to see them grow into food that you get to eat. It gives you the feeling of, “I did something that matters.”

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

Sometimes that is the exact feeling our brain is longing to feel. Our brain wants that reason to get up in the morning. It gives you a reason to step outside in the morning. You have to go take care of your plants. They need you.   

That has been a huge part of my growth over the last 10 years and what has kept me coming back to the garden. It’s also what's pushed me into my profession of setting up kitchen gardens for clients and starting my businesses. It’s that feeling of accomplishment and a feeling of pride.  

plant decorator

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow

Audrey Hepburn
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7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

REASON 4

Gardening is Good for Mental Health Because It Cures Boredom

 

During this pandemic we have all been home for months. Again, I think this goes back to our initial existence as humans. At the beginning of civilization and the beginning of our species, we were never bored because they were always scared and desperate to gather food in order to stay alive. 

I think boredom is probably one of the worst foods that you can feed a depressed mind. You know that feeling when your mind wakes up, and it feels like there's nothing exciting ahead of you that day, that there's nothing to look forward to, or to go check out? That's one of the worst feelings for a brain that's struggling and the garden is the opposite of that.  

So, there are ornamental landscapes with things like boxwoods, hedges, bushes, and trees. Those definitely have their place in the landscape but one of the reasons why I dedicated my work, 100% to kitchen gardens is because of their dynamic nature. All the foods that we eat on an annual basis that are planted by seed and grown in the kitchen garden begin and finish their lifecycle in less than 90 days. Some will finish their life cycle in less than 45 days and the stretch would be about nine months for something like garlic. So the dynamic nature of all these plants means that they are literally changing overnight and that is not an exaggeration. For example, if you were to have a boxwood bush in your yard you know it’s not going to change much over the course of ten months. The plants in your vegetable garden are going to be changing every single minute of every single day and that to me is one of the great cures for boredom. 

Have you ever heard about the idea of Blue Zones?

It’s the study of lessons for living longer from people who've lived the longest. So they did these studies on cultures where people seem to live a lot longer than they did in other parts of the world. As you can guess, one characteristic of these people is that they garden, but another characteristic that I thought was so interesting is that they can readily articulate the reason they are getting up in the morning. People in these cultures have purpose imbued lives that give them clear roles or responsibility and feelings of being needed well into their one hundreds.

The study says, 

“Most centenarians from the Okinawan communities grow or once grew a garden. It's a source of daily physical activity that exercises the body with a wide range of motion and helps reduce stress. It's also a near constant source of fresh vegetables.”  

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

So when you read about the characteristics of these people that have lived a long time, you notice that there is this circle of things that are all interconnected. They eat mostly plant based meals, they wake up with purpose, they spend lots of time outdoors, and they garden. So you can see how all those things work together. I think even that idea of waking up and feeling like you have something to go check on, is so powerful.  

I teach an online course called Kitchen Garden Academy and we have a community there where we share our wins and losses. People can ask questions to myself and the other Gardenary garden coaches and just recently, one of our students stepped in and she said, “This is the only way I've been able to survive the pandemic. I was so depressed and was having such a hard time. Now, I love waking up in the morning and going out to check on my garden. I literally spend so much time out there to watch what's happening and it's been the best therapy I could have signed up for.” This was just such a good example of how we need a distraction sometimes from our own boring thoughts and the garden can be that for me.  

The garden was that for me when I was first home with my four kids. I was still working by contract in the area of philanthropy and I was writing papers, but for the most part my day was filled with diapers, tantrums, nursing, and cooking. There were days where a big part of my brain was super bored.  Of course I loved nurturing my children and I wouldn't take that time back for anything in the world but there was certainly pieces of me that were spinning in a circle. I was always trying to find something interesting to focus on and the garden ended up really being that thing for me. I was at home all day and couldn't leave so the garden ended up being my escape. It truly was the cure for my boredom. 

Learn More about KGA

Kitchen Garden Academy is Like College for Your Garden

KGA is an 8 module online course where you learn everything about setting up, designing, planting and enjoying your kitchen garden from Nicole Burke

REASON 5

The Garden is Good for Mental Health Because It's Meditative

Have you ever been told you should meditate or pray or get quiet with your thoughts? I grew up in the church and I was always taught to pray for 30 minutes every morning. My mind is like a squirrel brain and I am just going in all kinds of different directions from the minute my eyes open. I just have a really busy brain and I always felt frustrated with myself that I could never sit still or let my thoughts be still; they would just literally run a mile a minute. 

I always felt guilty for that when I was supposed to be praying but later in life I was introduced to the idea of meditation and then the guilt for having a busy brain really made itself known.   

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

So meditation is kind of like cleaning your brain and that's what prayer is too. It's basically like taking a minute to observe your thoughts and observe what's going on inside of your head to be able look at it from an outsider's perspective. I've always had trouble doing that, especially when I’m just sitting still, but I found that the garden actually allows me to pray, meditate, and clear my head. What I've found is that I actually need to be doing a mindless activity in order to calm my head down. For my mom it’s folding laundry but I don't like to fold laundry. For me it's gardening so let's say I will be working a row of radishes and I’m just thinning them out. I'm just going one by one by one and it's pretty mindless. I don’t need a college degree to do this activity and I don’t even need to understand the complexities of the radish. I'm just literally picking them up and in that practice, all of a sudden that busy part of my brain calms down because it's distracted by the radishes. Then I can go to that deeper part of my brain and have clear thoughts. I have to say some of my best thoughts have come during my time working in the garden. So many of my ideas, including my business ideas have come when I am in that meditative state. 

Sometimes all a depressed or struggling mind needs is a moment of clearing and I believe that can happen when you’re outside working in the garden.  

“Caring for your garden can be a great form of mindfulness meditation by connecting with the earth, and with the practice of gardening. You can cultivate a healthy mind and feel calm and connected. Simply planting a seed with intention or touching soil can be transformative so go ahead and get a little dirty.”

-Sue Schwartz   

So no more excuses for not being able to pray or meditate, right? 

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary
plant decorator

Simply planting a seed with intention or touching soil can be transformative so go ahead and get a little dirty.”

Sue Schwartz
7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

REASON 6

Gardening is Good for Mental Health Because It Brings Healing of a Different Kind

During the first year of business for me a lovely man named Andrew hired me to do a consultation for him and he ordered a garden that's actually in my book. It's a beautiful stone garden. It’s three gardens in a circle that we created in honor of his three daughters. It turned out that Andrew was right in the middle of a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and he ended up passing away about a year and a half after I got to build the garden for him. During that time as he struggled through his diagnosis and his treatment, I would often arrive at the garden and see him coming out to water it, tend to it, and pull from it. He texted me often, especially at the beginning of his diagnosis and said that he saw the garden as part of his therapy in his treatment and his healing. He also saw it as also as a lasting gift he would give his beautiful wife Shana.  

I've seen this story happen more than once in my business where we have been hired by people who have either just survived cancer, lost a loved one, or are going through cancer during their garden installation. Just last summer we had a similar situation with a beautiful woman named Rana. Who was just in the middle of her ovarian cancer treatment. She ended up getting the most gorgeous kitchen garden that summer. She was hoping she was in remission but ended up passing away as well that spring. 

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”  

-Audrey Hepburn  

I've never seen that be so true as when I've gotten to work with clients who are struggling with pain and loss and I think it's a great beautiful way to work through a hard time. 

I truly love our clients and losing them has been very hard, especially because you get to watch them fall in love with the garden and grow with the garden, even as they struggle so much.  

“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace” 

-May Sartain 

 

Are you convinced to start a garden? 

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary
plant decorator

“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace”

May Sartain

REASON 7

Gardening is Good for Mental Health Because It Brings Us Together

One of the worst feelings to have in your mind is to feel like you're alone. At the beginning of human civilization, the only way that humans stayed alive is if they stayed together. It was impossible to be out on your own and make it. You needed to be with a tribe. The tribe protected you.  

Part of the tripe would stay up and watch overnight when you had to sleep. One member of the tribe could go get food while you stayed back with the babies. The tribe could be part of the tribe could stay up and watch overnight when you had to sleep. The only way that humans have stayed alive is by sticking together. Yet these days, so many things can attribute to all of us being alone and that's not good for our heads. So the garden is a great place to come back together.   

First, it'll help you connect with the sources of your food, the soil providers, the growers, and the farmers, but it also connects you with other people in your community. Every time I'm out in my garden, my neighbors come by and talk to me and ask me what I'm growing and it starts up so many great conversations. You're also going to harvest so much that you'll get to share with others, which makes you feel good that you have something that you can contribute and share with other people.  

There is an amazing study on the benefits of gardening that said that the benefits of gardening on happiness are similar across all the racial boundaries, and between urban and suburban areas. It was this really rare experience where they saw that gardening actually impacted everybody in a similar way. Whether you were low income or high income, educated or had less education, the joy and the happiness that you had was the same.   

I think this points back to that original beginning of humans. When we have our hands in the dirt we are relieved and feel home.  

The researchers in this study also found that the level of emotional well being or happiness reported while gardening was similar to what people got when they were working out and that is the only activity iut of the 15 activities studied for which women and people with low incomes actually got higher emotional well being, than men and medium and high income participants. Basically what they're showing you there is that people who are generally underserved and those of low income are the ones that enjoy it the most.  

Gardening can connect us across racial boundaries, across economic boundaries, and across our city's boundaries. I can't tell you how many times I drove into places I never would have gone when I was sourcing materials in Houston for my clients. Some of the best growers, the best soil providers were in some of the harder spots of Houston, and by buying from them and by connecting with them, I was supporting their hard work, and also finding this basic connection that we already had but I had never discovered before.  

So, gardening connects you with people. It's this perfect moment where you look at each other, and you get to share a really delicious bite or the joy of watching this vine take off up the trellis, and it's so powerful.  

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

Gardening is good for your head. Do it for your head, more than for your stomach. Your stomach is still going to get to enjoy it and the bites will be so delicious. But listen, your thoughts determine how you feel, and that is what we have all got to take care of.   

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

“Consider money spent in the garden like money spent on gym equipment, a club membership or a music lesson, or simply consider it as paying for a doctor's visit. The saying is a little lame, but it doesn't mean it is not true. Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. It would take quite a few therapy sessions to equal the cost of a kitchen garden, but you will at least get to eat your results.” 

-Kitchen Garden Revival 

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary
plant decorator

It would take quite a few therapy sessions to equal the cost of a kitchen garden, but you will at least get to eat your results.

Nicole Burke, Kitchen Garden Revival
7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

Listen, when I try to get you to start a garden, I'm really trying to get you to be more happy. I think that the future of our society and the future of us as humans depends on us learning how to be happy in the simplest ways. Gardening is very simple. It is the thing that can give us a simple pleasure and a happiness that we're longing for.  

And that my friends, is why gardening is for your head, not just your stomach. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Grow Your Self podcast. I hope this episode inspired you to get out into the garden and if it did, check out my Kick Start Your Kitchen Garden Workshop. It’s a short and sweet workshop that will help you kickstart your kitchen garden today. Just head to www.gardenary.com/kickstart to get access. 

Also, if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend. Spread the happiness that a kitchen garden can provide by copy and pasting the link to this episode into a text message. That is how we can grow this community and share these stories with those that need to hear them.  

7 Reasons gardening is good for mental health on the Grow Your Self podcast with Nicole Burke of Gardenary
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In this hour long workshop, you'll learn how to start your garden the right way, right away and you'll also get my $100 raised bed garden instructional ebook and an accompanying workbook included.