Issaquah, WA

Issaquah WA Invites You to Reduce Stress by Growing Groceries

Tree Langdon

We all know that getting out in nature is good for us. 

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Image by István Mihály from Pixabay

I’ve always enjoyed gardening. Being outside is my go-to place and if I can get my hands into the dirt, it’s especially cathartic for me.

There’s nothing like a good session of weeding my vegetable beds to help me ‘weed’ the thoughts in my mind.

Even if you don’t have a large garden and can only get out on your balcony, you are able to gain the benefits of growing something.

There’s a lot of research that proves that gardening increases well-being and longevity.

Washington State University is offering several more ‘Growing Groceriesclasses this spring. They are offered and taught by the WSU Extension, King County Master Gardener Program.

The Growing Groceries program was created when a group of King County Master Gardeners created a full series of classes to consolidate the information. 

Initially, classes were held in person, at The Grange in Issaquah, Washington, and at Beacon Hill in Seattle. Now they’re all online.

Here are two free classes coming up in May:

  • May 12: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) an ideal strategy for encouraging pollinators, predatory insects, crop diseases, and understanding crop rotation.
  • May 26: Cucumber family (cucumbers, squash, melons), the final class of the 2020–2021 series.

Click on the date to register for these free Zoom classes.

Here are several reasons why gardening could help you live longer.

Nature is healing.

  • Sunlight, fresh air, and plants all contribute to your physical and mental health. 
  • In many countries in the world, including the U.S., doctors have started giving out prescriptions that tell patients to spend time in nature.
  • Studies show that patients who consistently spend time in green spaces, report improvements in their health, both mental and physical.
  • You don’t need to take up a strenuous activity such as hiking. Walking slowly down a nature path, or sitting on a bench in a quiet area of your community park is a great beginning.
  • Gardening tends to support the continuation of the activity. It’s not like running, where you can quit anytime. If you quit gardening, your plants will suffer and you’ll likely be motivated to get back at it.
  • An environmental researcher named Roger Ulrich found evidence that showed patients recovered faster, with less pain and medication if their hospital room looked out on nature, rather than a brick wall. Link to the study here. His results showed that nature was restorative. 
“We have a kind of biologically prepared disposition to respond favorably to nature because we evolved in nature. It was good to us, and we tend to respond positively to environments that were favorable to us.” R. Ulrich

Gardening is good exercise.

  • It’s not at all like running, but it still supports your physical body. 
  • Depending on your property, there can be a lot of physical work involved in gardening. I’ve worn out a wheelbarrow and tend to break shovels.
  • Gardening can provide aerobic benefits and keeps your body flexible. 
  • Digging is hard work and weeding through garden beds is also strenuous. 
  • Even light gardening such as trimming bushes can contribute to physical activity and physical health.

Vegetables are good for your body.

  • When you grow food, you tend to eat what you grow. 
  • If you only plant flowers, that doesn’t apply, but if you sneak in a few vegetables here and there, they will find their way onto your dinner table.
  • Growing food supports the security of your food supply. This is becoming more important as disruption in supply chains occurs. You are more independent if you are able to grow even a small amount of food for yourself and your family.
  • There is more nutrition in the food you grow in your garden. If you buy vegetables from a store, it’s likely they were picked days or weeks earlier, so they’ve lost many of their nutrients.
  • Food that you grow for yourself tastes better.

Gardening reduces stress.

  • It also exercises your mind by requiring you to plan and problem solve.
  • You stay in the moment when you have your hands in the dirt. It’s meditative.
  • You are closer to nature. Pausing to watch the neighborhood birds build their nests or watch the storm clouds gathering in the sky connect you to nature.
  • Your thoughts slow down and you relax your mind.
  • Gardening reduces the level of cortisol in your body.

Many mindfulness experts consider gardening as a form of meditation and I agree wholeheartedly.

Issaquah welcomes you to join their Master Gardeners online to learn to take care of your garden.

"Issaquah — nicknamed Trailhead City — is centered within the Issaquah Alps (Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains). It's a destination for countless outdoor enthusiasts, including hikers and paragliders.In town, Issaquah features a Saturday farmers market, a nationally-recognized theater and a seasonal ArtWalk."

Sources:

https://issaquahwa.gov/94/Issaquah-Today

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20522508/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334070/

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A merchant of dreams. ♡ I love to connect humanity to technology. I write news, and fiction, exploring Worldview plots. Was a CGA/CPA in a past life. I have a lot of life experience. Parenting, Art, Finance, Investing, Auditing, Project Management, Writing, Story Grid Method, Science, Forensic Anthropology, Extensive overseas travel including Asia, Greece, Thailand.

Seattle, WA
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