Last week, people across Canada celebrated the Year of the Garden 2022 with National Garden Day on June 18. This year’s theme is “Live the Garden Life,” and it encourages you to celebrate everything garden and gardening-related. If you’re new to gardening, get inspired and start enjoying garden experiences. If you’re a seasoned pro, celebrate the beauty of your personal garden or a local community garden.
There are many health benefits associated with gardening. The types of movements you do when gardening support mobility and flexibility: digging and planting work your upper body and back, going back and forth between kneeling and standing strengthens your thighs and legs, and raking or levelling out your garden targets your core and arm muscles.
If you grow (northern friendly) fruits and vegetables in your garden, you also tend to eat more of them. They are best when they’re picked fresh and grown with your own effort. Having convenient access to home-grown fruits and vegetables also makes it easy to grab them as a snack and you can even have them throughout the year if you can or freeze them when they’re ripe.
Gardening outside in the sun in clean, fresh air is also a major health benefit. Nature has healing powers and can improve your blood pressure, boost your mood, and relieve stress. The sun is also an excellent source of Vitamin D, which protects your bones and immune system. (However, it’s important that you still wear sunscreen if you’re going to be outside and exposed to the sun for a long period of time.)
In the Northeast, citizens of Dawson Creek celebrated National Garden Day with the grand opening of the Dawson Creek Community Garden. Last year, the community garden was relocated to make space on the site of the Dawson Creek and District Hospital Redevelopment Project, which is currently in the its procurement phase. Now that the relocation is complete, local gardeners are ready to get their hands dirty this planting season!
Fern Hansen, President of the Dawson Creek Community Garden Society, says she’s “looking forward to the community garden continuing to be well received in the community and for society members to continue to garden, because they’re off to a fabulous start.”
The people of Dawson Creek also benefit from the community garden in many ways. “It gives people an opportunity to grow locally and enjoy the company of other gardeners,” says Fern. “A couple of organizations do food for others. They grow locally and disperse it throughout the community. They grow tomatoes, zucchinis, beans, radishes, beets, and much more, and make up weekly or monthly hampers for families in need.”
If you’re interested in renting a garden bed this season, get in touch with the Dawson Creek Community Garden Society on Facebook.