Gardening and food growing is very beneficial, not just for your physical health but your mental wellbeing too. It offers gentle to moderate exercise outdoors and provides mental relaxation and stimulation, as well as a social outlet and a sense of real sense of satisfaction when plants grow and crops are harvested.
You don’t have to just take our word for it – a wide range of recent studies have shown the therapeutic benefits of gardening. One study concluded that “observing nature and participating in physical activity in green spaces play an important role in positively influencing human health and wellbeing”.
Another found that gardening can reduce physical pain, help improve motor, speech and cognitive skills after illness or traumas such as strokes, and even provides a higher quality of life and improved cognitive functioning for those suffering from dementia. In 2013, the UK charity Mind concluded that gardening helps in the prevention of and recovery from mental health problems, and in 2016, The King’s Fund (an influential health think tank) recommended the NHS make more of the “diverse health benefits of gardening” in support of their priorities.
We have been running food growing and gardening activities for over 20 years, and in that time literally hundreds of people have benefited. Those who have attended our food growing courses and our drop in sessions at the Carshalton Community Allotment have told us how much of a difference gardening makes to them; ‘as soon as I’m through the gate, I take a deep breath and leave all my worries behind’, and that they go home ‘feeling very happy and very satisfied. Thank you for this lovely sanctuary’.
Why not find the benefits for yourself?