grow it cook it preserve it eat it wendy pillar blog gardener grow your own in dorset
Veg growers, the nicest people on the planet -
Since I shifted my attention away from work and towards growing food more seriously, I have met the nicest bunch of people. The Grow it Yourself organization is full of warm and lively souls, but generally allotmenteers and growers seem to be down-
As any social scientist will tell you, association doesn't mean causality -
It has been shown that the smell of soil acts on our brains similarly to the smell of some essential oils to sooth and increase happiness. Likewise, exposure to friendly bacteria in soil helps fight depression and strengthen the immune system. The fresh air and exercise improve health and lower stress, and the fresh produce also improves health. We all know that growing fruit and veg leads to a big increase in the amount of it we eat, if only as a way to get through that mountain of courgettes or runner beans! Contrary to what every junk food advert will tell you, healthiness and a healthy diet play a major role in happiness, and happy people are by far the easiest to be around.
It's not just the garden as gym and health-
Growing food also teaches a certain amount of stoicism. You can tend your purple sprouting broccoli perfectly well for nine months or so, and then an extreme cold spell will kill it off and that's that. Sometimes nature will just trump your efforts and that's all there is to it.
Perhaps all of this is why growers with immense knowledge and experience tend to be so generous with their time and expertise, not to mention seeds and cuttings, so tolerant of people underestimating their level of skill, and so disinclined to seek status. Why they also tend to care about the future of the planet, and all the plants and animals on it, including fellow humans. From the things Prince Charles says and does, growing carrots can even make the aristocracy gentler beings! That's one of the many reasons why I continue to seek growers for my friends and say that everyone should grow some of their own food. If only someone could convince Simon Cowell and David Cameron to grow some lettuce, perhaps the world would be a gentler place!