In case you haven’t noticed it yet, gardening is becoming cool again. More and more people are planting gardens in their backyards, building vertical ones where space is tight, keeping succulents on their office desks and cactus in their bedrooms.
It’s not surprising. City life is a mad dash of existence; We live in a concrete jungle, deal with the chronic stress of slow-moving traffic and stressful commute, get blind looking at multiple screens all day long, and try be the responsible employee, family member, and friend. Short of the long: We need something more than this city routine.
GMA News Online attended an urban gardening workshop at Cedarhills Garden Center in Quezon City, where we learned the many benefits of gardening. Read them below!
1. It helps you save money on food, while encouraging you to eat better. Many of us want to eat healthy like Erwan, but our cup noodle-budgets just won’t allow it. The answer to the problem: Grow your own food.
This won’t just cut back on expenses but will also help you eat better. Besides, eating vegetables you’ve grown yourself is better than eating store-bought greens: you know where your food comes from (at home!), and what’s in it! Goodbye, fear of fertilizers!
Says Gerald S. Sioco of Cedarhills, lettuce, okra, tomatoes, malunggay, eggplant, and kangkong are among the easiest to grow.
2. It helps fight back stress. How many times have we planned on unplugging from the computer but always find ourselves back on Instagram? It’s a vicious cycle, and one that stresses us out even more.
Perhaps, it’s best to unplug all together and do something completely different from your routine. Enter gardening: “it is very therapeutic. It relaxes you and calms you down,” says Sioco.
Admiring your garden, watering your plants, and even pulling out weed requires effortless attention that can help replenish your capacity for focus and concentration—the things we all need at work, to live in the city.
Besides, being surrounded by nature is a stress-beater in itself already.
3. It allows moderate exercise. It’s no crossfit or a marathon, but it is definitely better than sitting on your couch, after sitting in your hours-long commute, after a full day of sitting on your office swivel. Gardening requires you to move and stretch—digging, planting, and weeding—which gets your blood moving, which is what matters.
4. It allows a unique (and affordable) bonding time with your kids. Finally, an activity that won’t require you to go to the mall and spend cash on things you can and most probably will do again next week.
Gardening isn’t just a fun thing for them to do (yes, dirt!), it is also something of an education. It is one way for them to learn about food: where it comes from and how it is grown. “Being able to show our kids how food is grown, going back to basics really mean something,” Sioco says.
5. It helps the environment. Not only are you contributing in making a greener city, but by growing your own vegetables, you’re also cutting back on your (and your community’s) carbon footprint in acquiring your vegetables.
6. It helps you keep healthy. Having plants around assures of cleaner air. If you have a bunch of citronella, it keeps mosquitos away, decreasing your chances of getting dengue or other mosquito-related diseases.
A note on citronella: “It’s not hard to keep, but it needs the sun every day. Also, you need to have a bunch of citronella, hindi puwede pa-isa-isa because its scent comes out when the leaves rub against each other. It has to be crowded,” explains Sioco.
7. It helps in community building. How many of us still know and interact with our neighbors? Sad right, especially if you caught the times when you could borrow things from them, or indeed even watch television hanging out on their window.
Planting vegetables will not only serve your household, but your community as well. Especially when your garden produces harvest more than what your household consumes, you can share your produce to your next-door neighbors, which should always be appreciated.—LA, GMA News