There is nothing like gardening to restore your faith in the nature of things. And, I want to support the efforts of those who are dedicated to growing things—to buy locally and to be more connected to the source.
I've made a vow to myself this summer to visit supermarkets as little as possible. Instead, I'm tending to my raised beds of vegetables, supporting a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and visiting local farmer's markets. The experience of finding food sources in this way is a lot more connected and rewarding.
Good Morning, Carrots!
Every morning, I bring my dogs for a walk. It's a beautiful way to greet the new day. First, there is coffee and a few moments of meditation and then I get ready for work, grab my pup's leashes and head out to take them for a walk in a beautiful wooded area nearby.
But now we make a detour to take a look at my raised beds of veggies. Yes, I know, terribly exciting to some, but to those of you who adore putting your hands in the earth and eating food that is taken from the ground and not wrapped in cellophane, well, you understand. You know how meditative it is to connect with nature, how calming it can be . . . how centering.
I feel like a seven-year-old once again. Yes, it's been THAT long since I last planted a garden, but I still remember the thrill of watching radishes and carrots grow and being completely enchanted with the beauty of each plant. Don't you think kids should know what an eggplant looks like before it's picked?
The garden has several different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, carrots, Swiss chard and kale, basil (for pesto) and other herbs, several different types of zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, Armenian cucumbers (I was curious and couldn't resist), and butternut squash.
Gardening is just about the best therapy on the planet, in my eyes. I can get lost in touching plants and weeding is a delight. The raised beds make the process very easy.
Supporting Local Farmers
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I joined a CSA for 'backup'. Farmer Dave's in Dracut, Massachusetts, is truly awesome! I highly recommend joining a CSA for many reasons. Some of the main reasons being you are eating freshly picked vegetables (and fruits) that are, for all intents and purposes, largely organic.
At Farmer Dave's over 95% of the produce is not treated with any pesticides. Freshly picked food is also more nutrient dense, hence, it's better for you and your loved ones. And, just as importantly, you are supporting a local farmer and you are limiting your footprint in a significant manner. My CSA gives any excess to their “hunger relief partners.” Talk about a truly sustainable effort!
Local farmer's markets are also a great resource. Do you have any favorites? I'm venturing out to area markets over the next few months. There is a lovely market in Andover, Massachusetts, that is held on Saturday afternoons. And, the Newburyport Farmer's Market is also a favorite! Here is a great website for finding food that is grown locally www.localharvest.org.You will notice that natural food stores and co-ops are also great sources for local food.
If you care to share any great finds, I am all ears!
My job is stressful at times. It is the small things that we do daily that turn out to be the most important. Taking the time to center our thoughts, enjoy the moment, and take in a few deep breaths is about as calming as life gets. I find that is an easier practice to adopt when I am surrounded by plants. What about you?
About Heidi Boone
Heidi Boone is a sales professional on the outside and a tree hugger on the inside. She strives for well-being at every level and blogs about her experiences with yoga, eating a largely plant-based diet, and exploring the many ways to make the journey both joyous and life affirming.