There is nothing like working in a garden-getting your hands dirty, digging, planting, harvesting…in the sunshine and outdoors. The ecosystem comes to life—birds of many kinds and colors visit throughout the day, varieties of butterflies flutter by, pollinate, and multiply throughout the year, bees busily and faithfully buzz from flower to flower. The soil is full of life too-red worms wiggling, bacteria and fungi decomposing, and other microorganisms doing what they were created to do-to help the roots nutrify their fruit and flowers.
Producing good soil is not easy. It took us years to transform our black adobe clay into a nutrient dense dirt. We used organic chicken manure from our hens and lots of mulch and compost. It also takes years to build up a good garden. We have fruit trees, berry bushes, and seasonal perennials working together to keep pests at a minimum.
A study in Finland found that children who took care of plants in planter boxes that used forest undergrowth, showed that the diversity in their gut microbes improved and their skin was healthier. These changes were noticed in about a month. So why not start the new year in a garden? We usually start our morning there–getting morning sunlight all year long while maintaining our bird bath and managing our small space.
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)