CLEAR Garden Blog March

The immortal words of Spike Milligan, “Spring is sprung, the grass is riz…” reflect the lightness of mood when the sun finally comes out, temperatures move into double figures, plants push out of the sodden ground and burst into bud, and spring flowers abound. Our gardens are coming alive again after the dormancy of winter.

At our community gardens in Buckhaven and Methil, there is a buzz in in the air. All four of our bee-hives have survived winter and the bees, having emerged from hibernation, are now very busy collecting pollen from the abundant crocuses and daffodils around town. Our (currently very small number of) trusty volunteers and allotment holders have stepped up and are busy sowing and planting fruit and vegetables for summer and autumn harvesting.

As part of our new #ClimateActionFife project, CLEAR is excited to announce our online gardening workshop.

If you have never grown your own food, you may not know what all the fuss is about. It may seem like a lot of work, or you may think you don’t have space or time to grow what you really need. However, there are many benefits to growing your own.

1. Growing Your Own Food Helps the Environment

A) The average distance travelled by shop-bought fruits and vegetables is 1500 miles. Maintaining your own garden means you get healthy food that has zero food miles.  

B) You can control how your food is grown and manage bugs and other pests naturally, allowing you to reduce the number of harmful chemicals polluting our environment and waterways.

C) It doesn’t come in plastic bags.

D) It also helps you reduce food waste. By understanding and appreciating what goes into the process, you’ll want to use all the food you’ve grown.

2. Growing Your Own Food Saves You Money

You can save a lot of money by growing your own vegetables and fruits. By spending a few pounds on seeds, plants, and supplies in the spring, you will produce vegetables that will yield pounds of produce in summer and autumn.

3. Growing Your Own Food is Healthier

As soon as a fruit or vegetable is picked, it begins to lose moisture and ripeness, both of which contribute to a loss of vitamins and minerals. In addition, produce is often picked prematurely and then artificially ripened to improve shelf life.  This is a necessity since the average piece of produce has travelled 1500 miles to where it is finally sold.

4. Growing Your Own Food is Great For Your Kids

Children whose parents have a garden eat more than double the amount of fruit and vegetables than those that don’t. Gardening has been shown to help kids improve focus, increase brain function, and calm symptoms of ADHD. The outdoor time and connection with nature can actually centre their minds. Finally, gardening is the jumping off point for hundreds of educational lessons. Your garden can become a classroom for biology, nutrition, ecology, maths, and so many other subjects!

5. Growing Your Own Food Is Good For Your Health

The physical activity required in gardening has proven to promote physical health. Involvement in gardening helps to improve cardiac health and immune system response, decrease heart rate and stress, improve fine and gross motor skills, flexibility and body strength. Getting regular exercise can relieve stress, anxiety and depression while boosting energy. Gardening for just 30 minutes a day can lower the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your bloodstream to normal levels and is a great way to absorb vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is crucial in order to maintain healthy bones and teeth, and it can also protect against certain diseases.

For further information have a look at the following websites:

Garden Centre Association

Smart Money Mamas

Triangle Pest

One Green Planet

Climate Action Fife is a Fife-wide partnership project, bringing together individuals, communities, local government and businesses to tackle the climate emergency. It is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund. #ClimateActionFife

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