Our Rx for Today: Gardening!

What can we do for ourselves to help us overcome our fear and stress during this crazy time? According to psychologists, you can find the answer by stepping outside your door — into your garden!

We all know that sunshine is good for the soul and good for the body as well. The “sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D, is made by our skin coming into contact with the sun’s rays. Vitamin D is necessary for many of our body’s metabolic processes, including our immune system, but it also raises our mood. In winter, some of us suffer from what is known as seasonal affective disorder – depression – because we are unable to catch the sun’s UV rays upon our skin, or sunshine through our eyes, at that time of year. Well, guess what? It’s now spring! Sunshine is returning! Trees are budding. The forsythias are blooming. Daffodils, hyacinths….

Yes, we can get lots of sunshine from walking or hiking outdoors, but, I just heard on the news that parks are getting so crowded now, with many ignoring the directive to stay at least 6 feet apart. In your own garden, there’s no one else there except you and nature. No one to avoid.

Aside from all the sun exposure, the act of gardening itself has been found to bestow its own benefits to our well-being. Check out this article from Psychology Today10 Mental Health Benefits of Gardening. One of the article’s points needs updating a bit for today – the one about friends being there in the garden with you – sadly, not advisable anymore, but if your family is home with you, what an amazing, shared experience it would be to open them up to the joys of nature in their own backyard.

Our nursery is trying to carry on despite what has been going on around us all. It is only our second year here in Sloatsburg, and we thought that we had planned some great ideas for this season: to expand our plant offerings, a membership discount program, furthering the idea that saving our environment also includes a movement back to native plant species, gardening classes, etc. But then came the virus and all the accompanying governmental and health directives, causing our own continued existence as a nursery to be in question.

As things go now, we are still hoping, currently planting vegetable seeds, praying that everything will be back to normal when these seedlings are ready to be transplanted into your gardens. We’re taking each day as it comes. We’re still open. 

So go out into your garden between the rains this week. Get some fresh air and exercise clearing up all those twigs. Look at your beds and decide what should be planted there this season. Envision your vegetable garden as a family project to teach your children about growing food: the seeds, the plants, fruit, and then the seeds once again. Switch your thoughts onto life, spring, growth, the beauty of nature. 

To save you a trip over here, we can deliver your purchases if they are over the set minimum. We can also text you photos of the items you are interested in, and we’re still happy to help you with your garden plans.

Let’s all hope and pray for better days soon! From all of us at Sloatsburg Nursery to all of you: Stay safe and healthy!