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Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas

Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas
Elsje Designs creates fun & functional gifts, stationery and table decor with a true South African touch


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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The simple life.

One of my friends, Annelie Smuts, was recently in the Woman and Home magazine for a reason that I also feel very passionate about: Living off the land. We clutter our lives with too many deadlines, texting, meetings, traffic jams and all the stress that comes with our normal work day routines. The solution for this is actually quite simple, start a small garden on your patio, back yard or garden. There is nothing more satisfactory than harvesting your own peas for supper. Food tastes so much better with fresh herbs. Imagine picking your own avo's, lemons or figs!

There is actually proof of the healing power of nature... After time spent in the garden (or outdoors for that matter) many of my friends say they've been doing "gardening therapy." And now there are studies to prove it works.

Scientific tests were done on researchers who actually gardened while their brainwaves were studied electronically. Dr. Young (mental health specialist) says, "What they found was that the people who were gardening had brain waves that were very similar to people who meditate."

These medical tests conceded that gardening actually helps your body relax so it can heal because, she says, "It's a very healthy and healing state to be in."

Then, Young cites yet another study which found that hospital patients who are in a room with a view of a garden - actually recover faster!!! Their wounds heal about twice as fast as patients without a garden window. She says, "I think there's nothing more calming than and soothing than the smell of flowers and the earth."

Not that being part of a trend is ever a good reason to start or learn something new, but if it helps you move forward by being part of the “in” crowd, then you really need to plant your own edible garden this year!

Another survey done by the American Gardening Association showed a 19 percent increase in new hobby country farms and urban edible gardens in 2009 over 2008.

So, aside from its popularity, do you need some other reasons to grown your own food?

• Working in the garden reduces stress and makes you feel good.
• In the current recession a good reason would be to save money. There is nothing more local (yes, we are still in love with local) than food grown in your own backyard, your windowsills, or on patio containers.
• Growing your own fruit and vegetables means that you know exactly what does and does not go into your food and exactly where it comes from.
• You will live healthier in a number of ways. Not only will you end up eating more fruits and vegetables, but you will be getting added exercise. Did you know that you can burn as many calories in 45 minutes of gardening as you can in 30 minutes of aerobics?
• You will get a bigger variety of your favorite fruits and vegetables because you can choose from hundreds of different varieties and you can grow the things you like the best.

So here's the cheapest psychiatric advice you'll ever get: Get out and garden... It clears your head and heals your body.

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