National Garden Month in Action

April is but a memory, but it bears repeating that it was the month to celebrate gardening, during National Garden Month! Former President Reagan signed the Proclamation April 18, 1986. National Garden Week was first celebrated April 12 – 18, 1987. Then in 2002, the National Gardening Association extended the celebration to the entire month of April.

Green thumbs know and research backs up, that nurturing plants improves our attitudes toward health and nutrition, kids do better in school, and community spirit grows.

Gardening can be a diversion from your exercise routine. Gardening is typically seen as a moderate intensity exercise, roughly equivalent to walking at a speed of 2.5- 3.d mph.

A review from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that kids, who can be picky eaters, are more likely to eat produce when they were part of a school based or community garden program. So not only are kid eating better, they are also exercising and having fun together accomplishing something; and it is all outdoors. What could be better than that?

Finally, research suggests that gardening can increase life satisfaction as well as, reduce & promote recovery from stress. In fact, gardening leads to a greater reduction in stress following a stress test than an activity such as, reading.

Here is the Midwest, we couldn’t “dig-it” because of the “frozen rain” that piled up. But that didn’t stop us from starting seeds indoors, paging thru plant catalogs and planning, planning planning.

There is a garden for everyone, from patio containers to plowing up the north 40.

If you have never discovered your green thumb, start simply with potatoes in a bag or a cherry tomato plant in a patio pot. Herbs can even be grown in a sunny window and plucked for salads and cooking. If you don’t want to go it alone, be a part of a community garden.

So as we round the corner into the merry month of May; instead of a date with the couch, cable and a bag of chips this weekend, try getting your hands into a bag of dirt and ENJOY!

Blog provided by: Karen Foster RD, LD


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