Are you contemplating a healthy Body-Mind-Spirit resolut ion for 2014.??? There are so many people who dream or plan but never DO Follow up on the garden grounds . Off course you are NOT one of them .That is why this article is catching your attention!Start the new year with a RESOLUTION to take BACK your physical and mental Health by simply turning your BACKYARD into a PRODUCTIVE ORGANIC GARDEN.

Are you a procrastinator? Are you harboring such thoughts as : I have no Time to garden. I have no backyard . I have a backache . I am on Therapy. I live in an apartment .I live in my car.I have no experience . I have a wife
and family.I am old .I am sick. I kill plants. I lost my job/house.I am broke .I am on food stamps. I am name it…

Guess what ?Food stamps federal budget has been reduced by almost 40 BILLION for the next ten years.. Wait a minute. Growing your own food can be a Solution for your Physical and Mental challenges and struggles. Gardening is a FREE THERAPY..! No Health Insurance payments and no experience required! Here are two main major Physical and Mental Effects:

A-The Physical (Body) Benefits.

Consider Growing an EDIBLE GARDEN in your backyard, at a community garden and at your wellness /community center !! .

1-Growing your own food will enable you able to save your body and on your pocket .. Organic produce prices are so expensive! Take this for example:

One pound of Organic tomato costs $5 at your local Health Food Store!!!.Your cost: FREE when grown in your own garden !Your body will live longer love to get nourishment of locally home grown food devoid of pesticides and chemical fertilizers etc.. Besides:

If you grow one tomato plant at your garden , you will have an average of 40 pounds of tomato produced at home, multiplied by 5$ per pound will equal $200 in savings on your grocery bill!!!. Simply speaking,saving this much on one food category only !Do the math for the rest of other organic produce that you buy from the store which you can grow at home and witness the difference??

2-You will lose weight and save on the gym bill money 100% on the Gym bill.You will build muscles and lose fat , while growing and harvesting FREE fruits and veggies .. No garden experience necessary or membership FEES required!

3-You will reduce your medical bills by 100% by taking food as medicine from your garden , following the prescription of Hippocretes THE FATHER OF MEDICINE. Grow food for FREE ,without additives , chemical fertilizers and
pesticides,the extra salmonella !! .When you do so:You will add more years to your life , spend more time at home with your family ,smell more roses and aromatic herbs , breathe fresh outdoor garden air and enjoy eating SAFE food that is produced at home ,few yards away from your kitchen compared to the 1500 miles distance when being shipped and grown overstate /overseas!

B-The Metaphysical (Mind-Spirit) Benefits :

What is driving us CRAZY are the medical bills from the ER, for instance one ER stitch cost $500!!!. Check out this article from NYT:

What is driving us crazy is the culture of abusive behaviours that is tainting our society as a side effect of our work-oh-hloic and drug-oh-holic and family of oh..holics and other addictions :You name it!!!

As a consequence of the above “oh-holics” family we suffer mentally and succumb to take a pill here and a pill there.. A pill a day will keep the doctor in our way while an Apple from Mother Nature a day will keep the doctor away .They say!!. Pun intended! In other words why not call on Doctor “Nature” for a second opinion therapy . The Ancient Chinese ,Greeks and Romans reverted to find cures ,for both physical and Metaphysical , in Nature: Example Water baths or Hydrotherapy , Homeopathy and Naturopathy .Why cant we do the same?

Through out history and civilizations , gardening was considered as a THERAPY . Recently ,Japan and Sweden for example have innovated ways of using gardening as Horticultural Therapy at Hospitals and Rehabilitation Medical Centers by simply creating Gardens for their patients to improve on their health. . Check out the below sources and
resources for more details.

Change your motto from “going bananas” in to “growing bananas” and see the difference in your Mental and Physical HEALTH !!

The effects of Horticultural Therapy on the Brain :

Humbly speaking I did not coin the word Horticultural Therapy. Simply I believed in it and started using it at my community gardens. It was back in 2008 , when “Garden Therapy” made the headline news at a local major local news paper :Sunsentinel interviewed me and I spoke my mind.. Hail and THANKS to Sunsentinel exceptionally inspiring writer / columnist De LaCruiz ,who spent an almost day investigating my work following me around my community garden and chasing me to the horse ranches where my horse manure came from etc..Garden Therapy made its way to the mainstream media. Check it out:

Here are some more sources to check out:

Happy Gardening…Therapy!!

Tony Dagher BA CFMG, CFMT