When I first started gardening, I knew very little about gardening and had the wrong expectations on myself. Because I didn’t know much at the beginning, my garden died and I had very little to show for my efforts. Because I had the wrong expectations, I thought this meant I was a failure and not meant for gardening.
Thankfully, I moved next to a gardener and was able to learn from her. I learned gardening is a skill that takes practice. Sometimes failures are lack of knowledge and sometimes they are outside of your control. I didn’t learn everything from my neighbor but I learned enough to give me the courage to start trying again. That, combined with my knowledge of nutrition principles, which are the same for plants and soil as they are for within our bodies, allowed me to grow in my skills as a gardener. I have a long way to go still but I’m not afraid to try, experiment, and get my hands dirty.
Below are 10 reasons why you should garden if you are following the GAPS Diet!
- Control of what goes into your food: Gardening gives you control in what you use or don’t use to grow your food. It gives you opportunities to increase nutritional density.
- Your food has adapted to your environment: Food is more than just nutrition. It is energetic information for our bodies. When you eat food that you grow, the plant that you are eating has adapted to your local environment. It will transfer it’s energetic information to you helping you to further adapt to your environment.
- It’s as local as you can get! There’s so many reasons for eating local and walking outside to get food is as local as can be!
- It’s outside! Being outside gives the benefits of being in the sunshine, allowing us to do a gentle detox. You can also ground when you are outside. When you dig in the dirt, you gain exposure to soil bacteria. It’s also relaxing for us and can lower stress.
- It teaches life skills beyond how to grow food. Gardening helps us to learn something new but we also get to see tasks accomplished and train our brains in delayed gratification. Gardening is something that takes time to accomplish which is important in our world where everything is made to be fast and easy.
- Your kids will eat more vegetables! Kids that watch food being grown and actively participate in the growing of it are more likely to want to eat those foods.
- Your kids will feel accomplished! Speaking of kids – there’s tons of tasks for little ones to do in the garden and take pride in! For example, weeding, picking vegetables, and helping to water are all easy tasks for even young children. And they get the same sense of accomplishment and pride in seeing their gardens grow as we do.
- You can grow what you can’t buy. There are many vegetables and herbs that have a lot of nutritional density but are not sold in stores. For example, purslane is high in omega-3 fatty acids and lots of vitamins, like Vitamin A, making it a great health food that is difficult to buy. But growing it is easy! Gardening also allows you to grow more nutritionally dense types of food than their store counterparts; like heirloom tomatoes versus roma tomatoes.
- You can grow for preservation. The GAPS Diet is not the traditional diet and what you grow in your garden doesn’t have to be traditional either. For example, you can grow tons of cabbages in your garden for sauerkraut or cabbage tonic.
- Picking ripe has more nutritional benefits. In addition to being highly local, gardening also means you’re picking vegetables and herbs at the height of their ripeness and therefore the height of their nutritional value.
If you are not gardening, I invite you to explore the real reasons why. Sometimes we can use lack of time or space as an excuse because we’re actually afraid of trying something new or failing. You may have been taught that gardening is for experts or believe that you have a black thumb or it may feel overwhelming to try something new. But considering all the benefits of growing your own food, I say it’s worth deeply exploring your emotions and putting on your creative thinking hat to see if there’s a way for you to garden.