Growing Your Own Produce And The Hidden Health Benefits

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

For National Growing for Wellbeing Week, we explore how gardening can boost your mental health and how you can get involved even if you have no outdoor space

Vegetable basket image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Did you know that growing your own fruit and vegetables is good for your mental health? It’s National Growing for Wellbeing Week, so now is a great time to get out your green fingers.

What is National Growing for Wellbeing Week?

“Set up by Life at No.27, the week is a celebration of the magic that growing your own produce can do for your wellbeing, both physically and mentally.” Recent studies have shown “that gardening eased episodes of depression (13%), boosted energy levels (12%) and reduced stress (16%).”

There are other benefits too. By growing your own (GYO) produce, you can cook with tasty, fresh ingredients. You’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint and food waste. Win-win.

Ok, but what if I don’t have access to a garden or an allotment?

You could try growing herbs indoors on a sunny windowsill. Mint, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano and parsley are recommended.

Eating Well has a fabulous guide on how to grow your own herbs indoors.

Herbs growing on a sunny windowsill

I do have a garden, but I don’t have the time or space to grow my own produce?

GYO can take time, and some months will be more bountiful than others. However, there are some vegetables that are easy to grow. Maybe start with growing salad leaves or carrots in 30m containers or potatoes as they don’t need much space either.

You also only need a small area to grow herbs (or you could try the windowsill method). But just getting outdoors to mow the lawn or remove weeds can help with your wellbeing.

Gardening is a fantastic way to clear your mind. When I was struggling with my mental health during the third lockdown, I found dealing with an out-of-control blackberry bush surprisingly calming. When you’re cutting back prickly canes, believe me, you’re not thinking about anything else. It also gave my arms a decent workout!

At Mama Dolce, sustainability and using natural ingredients are important to us. Even if you only grow a few herbs at home, you can boost your mood while reducing your carbon footprint.

If you would like to learn more about National Growing for Wellbeing Week, follow @GYOWellbeingWk on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

free-from, with love x

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