Turn Your Yard Into A Garden Amid COVID-19


Pandemic is a stressful and tumultuous event of the human history. Call it discomfort at some point when you have no choice but obey government's initiative for lock down or enhanced community quarantine. This scenario bombards people with such a significant level of stress. Before it's too late, they need to find an outlet associated with this social, physiological, and psychological burden. I see people are into many things nowadays just to cope with stress. One common area of interest I see is they go for gardening while they stay at home during COVID-19 pandemic.   

On the other side, exercising your green thumb for growing plants and maintaining a garden would require considerable amount of space. But you don't need to worry about this constraint. You can simply turn your yard into a garden at no substantial cost. Why you should turn your yard into a garden especially amid COVID-19There are many good reasons why you should go for gardening in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some relevant facts and ideas you might find interesting and worthy to be shared.   


'Arthelo's garden' fresh harvest
Fresh pick from Arthelo's garden: bitter gourd (ampalaya) and ladies' finger (okra)


1. Gardening or having a garden is a healthy hobby 

Yes. You heard it right. Gardening is a healthy hobby. "Gardening could be a hobby that helps you live to 100," BBC reported (Feldmar, 2018).  

Gardening, a fun diversion as it is, is also good for your health (Haskins, 2017). When you lift some garden tools or pots of your plants, and dig the soil or water the plants, you exert certain amount of energy that could stretch your muscles to exercise them. In addition, a certain number of hours in the garden could sweat your body, allowing you to release detrimental or toxic body waste. 

Furthermore, your exposure to sunshine and fresh air in the garden is also a good opportunity for you to de-stress or cope with the daily stress of life.  

A study on cancer patients revealed that gardening creates vital impact on a person's physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being (Unruh, 2002). From the participants' responses in an interview, it was found that gardening could be a coping strategy for stressful life experiences. This result was consistent with an article claiming that gardening is good for physical health because it's a stress reliever, a form of exercise, and good for brain health, nutrition, healing and immunity (Eliades, 2013).

Truly, no one will be disappointed with the good promises of gardening let alone when you turn your yard into a garden especially in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. 


2. Gardening is a productive hobby  

The other side of the pandemic would truly push humans to be productive. 

There's an economics linked to gardening. I see this during the enhanced community quarantine in the Philippines amid COVID-19 pandemic. This government action provided significant deep impact on the economy. 

Many people and businesses were affected. The daily earning or income was compromised. As a result, many people were eager to find ways and means to survive turbulent times like this. 

I was one of those who have been financially affected by COVID-19 pandemic. For my goal to survive, I formulated a personal concoction of liquid fertilizers for my plants. I saw positive results, and began posting something on my social media account about my new discovery.

Friends on social media who were into yard gardening began to place their orders so they could also try my personal innovation out on liquid fertilizer. I received positive feedback from them as they saw the results themselves. People in my network who knew about my product started to inquire about my personalized concoction of liquid fertilizer.

Food is the most essential specification of a human being in relation to physical survival. Food therefore is the basic goods that should not be overlooked. The most reasonable nation, aside from protection, should always go for food production. 

Pandemic will most likely push nations to place their airways and sea ports to a halt. This scenario will then be alarming. Many people will probably starve due to insufficient supplies of foods and other related goods. 

People would have no choice, but to produce their own food. 

Poverty or scarcity would always push the humanity to do something for survival. Necessity is truly the mother of invention. On this note, poverty has a remarkable positive connection to community gardening (Garrett & Leeds, 2015).

While there's COVID-19, now is the great time to turn your yard into a garden


3. When you plant, you produce food

The world's population increases through time. The estimated average population growth per year is 81 million people (Worldometer, 2020). Unfortunately, population growth is positively and strongly associated with food production problems (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2017).

Imagine if every household in the world produces their own food. Food crisis would have not been one of the vital problems facing the world today. Abundance of food would have been everywhere.  

With every home turning their yard into a garden for food production, there would be plenty of food to at least alleviate the scarcity of food supply and malnutrition. There would have been no children dying from infectious diseases due to lack of nutrition. Not many would have starved to death. 

Food production is a human instinct for survival. Unfortunately, many of the modern people have forgotten this human drive due to the fast-pace change of our contemporary lifestyle. For instance, food production might have been overlooked because there are many industries to work from aside from food and agriculture industry.

It's not yet too late though. Now that COVID-19 pandemic is on, when you turn your yard into a garden, you rekindle the historic human instinct for food production.

'Arthelo's Garden' fresh harvest
My daughter, Miesha Aliza, helping me harvest bitter gourd in our yard


4. Gardening is a recreational activity  

The deeper meaning of recreation is not only rooted to hobby or leisure. Recreation at its core talks about regeneration, restoration, and refreshment. 

Gardening as a recreational activity restores our vital connection to our planet. It refreshes our creativity, allowing us to do something good for our ecology. 

Lately, people have discovered that synthetic fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals are harmful for the environment. As a result, organic farming has gained popularity not just as a brand but a lifestyle. 

Having healthy lifestyle is a must amidst COVID-19 pandemic. When you turn your yard into a garden you simply have just started what is essential for your health. 


5. Gardening provides sense of fulfillment

I truly felt sense of fulfillment and life balance when I first saw my fresh harvest from my garden in our yard. It was an excitement that I could never forget. It's always in my mind that acts like an addictive substance that have strong power to motivate me to turn my yard into a garden at all times. 


Conclusion

COVID-19 might have been branded by many as a hassle to our modern life. But it also sends a message of survival and productivity. It propels the idea of rekindling the basic idea of our subsistence in the past. 

Now that you know, are you up for the challenge? Will you turn your yard into a garden not just amid COVID-19 pandemic but at all times? 


References

Eliades, A. (2013). Wellbeing Gardening - Gardening for the Body, Mind & Spirit. Permaculture Research Institution. Link

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2017). The Future of Food and Agriculture: Trends and Challenges. FAO. Link

Feldmar, J. (2018). Gardening could be the hobby that helps you live to 100. BBC. Link

Garrett, A., & Leeds, M. (2015). The Economics of Community Gardening. Eastern Economic Journal. Link

Haskins, J. (2017). Gardening: A fun hobby that's good for your health. The Nation's Health. Link

Unruh, A. M. (2002). The Meaning of Gardens in Daily Life: A Comparison between Gardeners with Serious Health Problems and Healthy Participants. Horticulture, Human Well-Being and Life Quality. Link.   

Worldometer. (2020). Current World Population. Worldometers. Link.

ARTHELO P. PALMA is a PhD in Development Research and Administration. Turning his yard into a garden is on top of the list of his healthy productive hobbies.  


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